UK unemployment drops to 5.7%, ONS figures can reveal


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General UK unemployment has fallen by 97,000 to 5.7% for the working population between October and December 2014, the latest statistical releases by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) have been able to reveal.

Within the aforementioned interval, there were 30.90 million people in work, 103,000 more than for July to September 2014 and 608,000 more than for a year earlier.

The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.2%, higher than for July to September 2014 (73.0%) and for a year earlier (72.0%). The employment rate last reached 73.2% in December 2004 to February 2005 and, since comparable records began in 1971, it has never been higher.

There were 1.86 million unemployed people, which is around 97,000 fewer than for July to September 2014 and 486,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

The unemployment rate was 5.7%, lower than for July to September 2014 (6.0%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.2%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.

There were 9.05 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 22,000 more than for July to September 2014 and 6,000 more than for a year earlier.

The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (the inactivity rate) was 22.3%, virtually unchanged compared with July to September 2014 and with a year earlier.

Comparing October to December 2014 with a year earlier, pay for employees in Great Britain increased by 2.1% including bonuses and by 1.7% excluding bonuses.

Statistical figures also revealed that the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds is 16.2%, the same as the previous quarter, which is still a reason for concern. City & Guilds Group chief executive Chris Jones said while the rise of employment is “encouraging”, “it seems premature to celebrate when youth unemployment is still so high”. He said: “Countless young people are caught in the vicious cycle of trying to find work to gain experience, but needing experience to find work.”

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