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Unemployment at lowest level since 2006 as employment continues to rise

Wed, 16 Dec 2016

The UK unemployment rate fell to 5.2% in the three month ended October 2015, its lowest rate since 2006, according to the official jobs figures released today.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 1.71m people were unemployed, 244k fewer than a year ago, when the rate stood at 6%. The unemployment rate is at its lowest since the three months ended January 2006.

The ONS figures show that between August and October 2015, the proportion of people aged 16-64 in work in the UK rose to the highest level since comparable records began in 1971. 

According to the ONS, 73.9% of those aged 16-24 were in work in the three months to the end of October, bringing the total number in work to 31.3m. The employment rate is now the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Of those in work, 22.88m were working full time, 338k more than a year earlier, and 8.42m were in part-time employment, up 167k on the same period in 2014.

The employment rate was highest in the South-West (78.1%) and lowest in Northern Ireland (68.4m).

Mark Beatson, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), says: “Today’s statistics suggest that job growth in the UK has well and truly recovered, following what seemed to be a pause earlier in the year.”

Julia Kermode, chief executive of freelancer & contractor services trade body FCSA, says: “It is encouraging to note that self-employment rose above 4.6m in August to October – up 94k on the previous quarter – and it is now 71k above the same period last year.”

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