Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Unemployment rate down to 7.4%

UK unemployment has fallen to 7.4%, its lowest level since 2009, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. This figure is for the period August to October, and is down from 7.6% for the three months to September.

The drop represents a reduction of 99,000 for the number of people out of work, now down to 2.39 million.

Esther McVey, the Employment minister, said: “When people said unemployment would rise; when they said there would a double dip economy, that did not happen. The reverse has happened.”

The Bank of England (BoE) has said that it will not consider raising interest rates until unemployment is down to 7%.  The base rate is at 0.5% - its record low – where it has been since March 2009. However, BoE governor Mark Carney has said that an unemployment rate of 7% or lower would not automatically mean an interest rate increase.

ONS figures show that the number of people aged 16 and over in work is 30.09 million, a quarter of million higher than the period May to July.

A drop in the unemployment rate and a rise in the number of people employed is good news. Let’s hope those trends carry on into 2014.

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