Unemployment drops below 7%

Unemployment has dropped below 7% for the first time since the recession and employment has seen the biggest annual jump in a generation, figures published by the Office for National Statistics today (16 April 2014) show.

Unemployment fell by 77,000 in the last 3 months, taking the unemployment rate to 6.9% for the first time since 2009.

In the largest annual rise in nearly 25 years, the number of people of people in a job rose by 691,000 – more than double the population of Newcastle – bringing the record number of people in work to 30.39 million.

Wages also rose on the year by 1.7%, against yesterday’s announcement that March’s inflation had dropped to 1.6%, and job vacancies rose again, up 108,000 over the past year bringing the number of vacancies in the UK economy to 611,000.

Minister for Employment Esther McVey said:

More young people are in work, more women are in work, wages are going up, and more and more businesses are hiring – and it’s a credit to them that Britain is working again.

But there is still more to do – which is why I’d go even further and call on more employers to work with us to tap into the talent pool the UK offers.

UK employment level

The number of people in work has increased by 1.5 million since 2010 – over a million of these jobs are full-time – and the employment rate is now 72.6%, showing the government’s long-term economic plan to back enterprise and businesses so they can create jobs is working.

The proportion of women in work also hit a new record of 67.6% – the highest since records began.

Long-term unemployment is down 93,000 on the year, which is the largest annual fall since 1998. The number of unemployed young people also fell, by 38,000 over the last 3 months, and has been falling now for the last 7 months.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 30,400 last month and is down 386,100 on the year. The number of young people claiming JSA has been falling for the last 22 months.

Today Employment Minister Esther McVey is visiting the north east, where employment is increasing and unemployment is falling. She will be seeing first hand government schemes in action, such as the event training scheme that produced Jesse J’s make-up artist, and Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Newcastle, which are helping young people increase their skills and find jobs.

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