Unemployment rate falls to 7.6%, lowest level since 2010

The number of people out of work in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in three years.

The figures released this morning show a fall in unemployment of 48,000 people to 2.46 million.

The total number of people in work rose to 29.9 million, up by 177,000 in the three months to October.

However, the ONS says that the figures show that the number of people in part-time employment because they are unable to find full-time work is at a record high, and despite the welcome rise in employment, there has been no upwards movement in levels of pay.

Average pay has remained well below the rate of inflation, meaning that the population has taken an effective pay-cut.

Esther McVey, the minister for employment, said: “This government is delivering on its promise to rebalance the economy, promote job creation, and support people to get off benefits and into work.

“Today’s figures show that the number of people in work has risen by more than a million under this government, with the growth driven by full-time private sector jobs. 

“At the same time, the number of people claiming the main out-of-work benefits has fallen by almost half a million. There’s more work to do, and we are not complacent, but these are all very positive signs.”

But Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said the government was “out of touch”.

She said: “Today’s fall in unemployment is welcome, but families facing a cost-of-living crisis need a recovery that benefits them, and these figures show we are still far from achieving that.

“Prices have now risen much faster than wages for 40 of the 41 months since David Cameron became Prime Minister. On average working people are now over £1,600 a year worse off under this out-of-touch government.

“The employment figures give no cause for complacency. The number of people who want to work full-time but are stuck on part-time hours is at a record high. And youth unemployment is still at unacceptable and unaffordable levels with almost a million young people still out of work, while the number of young people unemployed for a year or more has gone up by 7,000 this quarter.”

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