Unemployment falls to 1.86 million - with drops in Norfolk, Waveney and east Cambridgeshire
09:39 19 February 2015
Unemployment has fallen to a near seven-year low while a record number of people are in work, according to figures released today.
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.