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UK unemployment falling


Unemployment in the UK fell by more than 18,000 to less than 2.5 million in the three months to August according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Additionally, those claiming job seekers allowance fell by 41,700 to 1.35 million last month alone, the lowest since January 2009.

This has left the UK’s unemployment at around 7.7%, whilst the number of people in either full or part-time work has risen to its highest ever levels of 29.87 million, an increase of 155,000 for the same period of three months leading up to August.

However, official statistics did show that a large proportion of part-time workers would actually prefer to work full-time, or at least longer hours in general. This was evident in the ONS’ findings that 1.5 million people would rather work longer hours, but are unable too, the highest level since 1992.

Furthermore, whilst employment trends are looking positive in general, there are still some areas that could improve, for example youth unemployment fell by only 1,000 to 958,000, whilst inflation remained at the lofty levels of 2.7% despite pay rises falling from 1% to 0.8%.

There is also stark contrast in terms of the difference between men and women finding part and full-time work. For example males in part-time employment increased by over 21,000 in comparison with women which actually fell by 13,000. However, this was the opposite for full-time employment, with 79,000 women finding full-time employment in comparison with only 69,000.

Encouragingly, long-term employment (jobless for over a year) for the year fell by 15,000 to 900,000 and short-term unemployment (jobless for less than 6 months) fell by 32,000 to 1.1 million. However, medium-term unemployment did rise by 29,000 to 446,000, raising concerns that some are still struggling to find work in the medium to long-term.

The figures sparked a debate, with some claiming, including Labour leader; Ed Milliband, that there was a cost of living crisis, pointing out that despite decreased unemployment, the cost of living has increased at a faster rate than wages. However this was refuted by Prime Minister, David Cameron who claimed "These are welcome figures. Of course, we all want to see living standards improve, and last year disposable income increased. But the way to deliver on living standards is to grow the economy, keep producing the jobs and cut people's taxes."

If you feel any of these issues affect you or that you need financial advice, then one of our expert financial advisers are able to answer any of your initial questions FREE* of charge within 60 minutes during office hours

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