UK unemployment rate over the past three months reaches 7.7%, down from 7.8%

The rate of unemployment in the UK has continued its downward trend over the past three months, dropping to 7.7% between May and July, compared to 7.8% for the previous 3 months’ interval.

The Labour Force Survey carried out by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) revealed that over the aforementioned interval, there were 2.49 million unemployed people, down 24,000 from February to April 2013.

Additionally, the employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for May to July 2013 was 71.6%, up 0.2 percentage points from February to April 2013. There were 29.84 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 80,000 from February to April 2013.

Additionally, the inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for May to July 2013 was 22.3%, down 0.1 percentage points from February to April 2013. There were 8.96 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, down 33,000 from February to April 2013.

The official figures also showed the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell 32,600 to 1.402 million, its lowest level since February 2009.

Despite the drop in unemployment, it’s not all good news, at least as far as the type of employment is concerned. Hence, the number of people working part-time because they cannot find a full-time job rose to 1.45 million, the highest since records began in 1992 and double the number of five years ago. This number accounts for almost a third of men working part-time and 13.5% of women.

In terms of specific regions, the North East of England had the highest rate of unemployment between May and July, with 10.4%, while the South East had the lowest at 5.8%.

The biggest increase during that period was in the North West of England, where unemployment rose by 13,000, while the largest fall was in the South East region, where 29,000 fewer people were unemployed than in the previous three months, followed by the East Midlands, with a fall of 11,000.

The figures from the ONS also revealed that average pay rose by 1.1% including bonuses compared with the same time last year, or 1.0% excluding them, which is well below the 2.8% rate at which prices are rising.

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