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UK unemployment falls for 26th month in a row


UK unemployment has fallen even further to 1.9 million, its lowest level for more than six years, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

In the three months to November, UK unemployment fell by 58,000. The unemployment rate now stands at 5.8% of the adult working population. In total, there are now 30.8 million people in work.

Thanks to this, the number of people on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) fell by 29,700 in December. The number of people on JSA has fallen by 26 months in a row and now stands at 867,000 the ONS said.

The east and south-east of England have the highest level of employment at 76.6%, and Wales has the lowest, at 68.7%. The unemployment rate was highest in the north-east of England (8.5%) and lowest in the south-west (4.4%), the ONS said.

However, it was not all good news. Youth unemployment has increased, as the number of unemployed 16 to 24 year olds increased by 30,000 to 764,000. There are also signs that employment growth is slowing down, as the fall in unemployment is at its smallest since the middle of 2013.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:
"We now have unemployment falling below 6% for the first time, which is a really, really important moment to mark. Jobs are being created and salaries are rising, meaning that increasing numbers of people are feeling the security and hope for the future,"

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
"Youth unemployment remains too high. That is why we will continue to encourage firms to invest in the UK and equip British workers with the skills they need to compete in the jobs market"

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