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Unemployment falls to 1.86 million - with drops in Norfolk, Waveney and east Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 09:39 19 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:39 19 February 2015

Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Unemployment has fallen to a near seven-year low while a record number of people are in work, according to figures released today.

Number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance

UK - 823,000 in January 2015, 784,400 in January 2014 (down 38,600)

Norwich - 2,161 Jan 2015, 3,367 in Jan 2014 (down 1206) 36pc

Great Yarmouth - 2,161 in Jan 2015, 3,356 in Jan 2014 (down 1195) 36pc

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk - 1,268 in Jan 2015, 2,386 in Jan 2014 (down 1118) 47pc

North Norfolk - 727 in Jan 2015, 1,213 in Jan 2014 (down 486) 40pc

South Norfolk - 760 in Jan 2015, 1,192 in Jan 2014 (down 432) 36pc

Breckland - 1,016 in Jan 2015, 1,746 in Jan 2014 (down 730) 42pc

Broadland - 617 in Jan 2015, 1,066 in Jan 2014 (down 449) 42pc

Fenland - 431 in Jan 2015, 1,518 in Jan 2014 (down 717) 47pc

Waveney - 520 in Jan 2015, 841 in Jan 2014 (down 321) 38pc

Suffolk Coastal - 1,477 in Jan 2015, 2,326 in Jan 2014 (down 849) 37pc

East Cambridgeshire - 431 in Jan 2015, 837 in Jan 2014 (down 406) 49pc

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning reveals the number of people out of work dipped to 97,000 in October to December last year to 1.86 million. Employment increased by 103,000 to almost 31 million.

Nationally, the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance dropped by 38,600 in December to 823,000, the lowest since the summer of 2008.

In our region*, the number of people claiming JSA fell by 7,909 in the past 12 months, from 19,848 in January 2014 to 11,939 in January 2015.

Today’s ONS figures suggest the UK now has the third lowest unemployment rate in the European Union at 5.7pc, behind Austria (4.9pc) and Germany (4.8pc).

Pay continued to rise ahead of inflation, with average earnings increasing by 2.1pc in the year to December, 0.3pc up on the previous month.

CPI inflation was 0.5pc in December.

Youth unemployment has fallen by a fifth - down 188,000 compared to this time last year. There are now 498,000 unemployed young people.

Long-term unemployment is also down, falling by 210,000 for those out of work for over a year, to 638,000.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “With unemployment continuing to fall, wages rising, and a record number of people in work, it’s clear that the Government’s long-term economic plan to get the country back on track is working.

“In the week that Universal Credit started its nationwide roll-out, these figures show that a reformed welfare system goes hand in hand with helping people to take advantage of the record number of vacancies available.

“The jobs-led recovery is changing people’s lives for the better on a daily basis. We are getting people into work, making work pay, and in so doing we are ensuring a better future for Britain.”

*Breckland, Broadland, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, North Norfolk, Norwich, South Norfolk, Suffolk Coastal, and Waveney.

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