UK employment continues strong growth, ONS figures suggest


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The number of people currently in employment has reached a record-breaking 30.79 million, recent statistical data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) was able to reveal.

The figures revealed that 694,000 more people are in jobs compared to this time last year. Furthermore, employment increased by 112,000 over the last 3 months alone, with the vast majority of the increase coming from people in full-time jobs.

There were 22.52 million people working full-time in the three months to September, 589,000 more than a year earlier, while unemployment has also dropped by 115,000, compared to the previous quarter and by close to 529,000 year-on-year.

The number of people claiming the main unemployment benefit – Jobseeker’s Allowance – has also been falling every month for the last 2 years and is now over half a million lower than May 2010.

In good news for workers, wages are also increasing – average regular pay (excluding bonuses, in the 3 months to September) rose 1.3% on the year, with private sector pay up 1.6%. This compares to an increase in the Consumer Prices Index of 1.2% in September.

According to the ONS, the UK has seen the fastest growth in the number of women in work in the last year, out of all G7 economies. This year’s fall in female unemployment is the largest on record.

Of those women working part time, almost nine in ten have chosen to work part time because it suits them, the ONS said. The number of women working part time who want full-time work is falling, down 43,000 over the last year.

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills, commented on the ONS figures:

“The good news is that businesses are creating more full-time jobs for people as the recovery continues. Over the past few months, we’ve seen companies’ pay awards start to recover, and this is feeding through to average earnings.”

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