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UK unemployment figure in surprise fall

UK unemployment has fallen for the first time in 18 months with 2.46 million people unemployed for three months to November 2009, down 7,000 on the previous three-month figure. While the government has quite rightly taken this opportunity to call the end of the UK recession and hit the media with a wave of interviews and comments, there are concerns that unemployment will actually continue to rise in the short to medium term.

It looks as though the unemployment figure has fallen because of an increase in part-time work with more people in the UK desperate to make ends meet and bring in more income on a monthly basis - part-time employment figures increased by 99,000 to 7.71 million in the quarter ended November. It is unclear from the data available which sectors of the UK economy appear to have improved over the period although on the whole it is a very welcome break from the depressing news we have seen lately.

It will be interesting to see how unemployment fared in the final quarter of 2009 and early 2010 with many other sceptical about the prospects for the UK economy during these periods. However, the UK government will be keen to keep the momentum going in the run up to the general election as this would almost certainly narrow the gap between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party.

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