UK unemployment hits six-year low, ONS figures suggest


The Office for National Statistics data for April to June 2014 suggests that UK unemployment fell to 6.4 per cent, the lowest rate in six years, while wages were slightly lower than a year ago (by 0.2 percent).

UK unemployment hits six-year low, ONS figures suggest image 1

Statistical figures suggest that in the April to June 2014 interval, there were 30.60 million people in work, 167,000 more than for January to March 2014 and 820,000 more than a year earlier. In the same time interval, there were 2.08 million unemployed people, 132,000 fewer than for January to March 2014 and 437,000 fewer than a year earlier.

Last, but certainly not least, figures also revealed that there were 8.86 million economically inactive people (those out of work but not seeking or available to work) aged from 16 to 64 in the UK, This was 15,000 more than for January to March 2014 but 130,000 fewer than a year earlier.

The ONS report provides some particularly positive prospects in terms of youth unemployment. The joblessness rates for 16 to 24 year olds fell to 16.9 per cent, down from 19 per cent for January to March 2014, and 21.4 per cent from a year earlier. Even so, the latest youth unemployment rate remains above the pre-downturn level of 13.8 per cent for December 2007 to February 2008.

Commenting on the ONS figures, CIPD chief economist Mark Beatson said that the good news for jobseekers hasn’t translated into a rise in productivity, which explains why growth in pay has remained weak.

“At the beginning of this year CIPD said that 2014 needed to be a ‘year of productivity’ when organisations took advantage of better economic conditions to raise their game through investment in capital and machinery, improving workforce skills and adopting smart working practices. We warned that this would be the only way to sustain the recovery and create the headroom for higher real pay,” he said.

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