Record numbers now in work

THE number of people in work in the UK has reached a new record high while unemployment and redundancies both fell last month, according to official figures.

THE number of people in work in the UK has reached a new record high while unemployment and redundancies both fell last month, according to official figures out yesterday.

Employment increased by 175,000 in the three months to December to 29.4 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1971, data from the Office of National Statistics indicated.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 10,800 in January to 794,600 on a seasonally adjusted basis - the lowest total since the summer of 1975 and the 16th consecutive monthly reduction.

Total unemployment, including those not eligible for benefit, fell by 61,000 in the quarter to December to 1.61 million, the lowest for almost two years.


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Around 111,000 workers were made redundant during the quarter, the lowest figure since comparable records began in 1995, and 24,000 down on the previous three months.

At local level, where the figures are not adjusted for normal seasonal variations, the end of temporary pre-Christmas employment saw the claimant count increased in most parts of Suffolk and north Essex.

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The biggest increase was in Waveney, where the unemployment rate grew by 0.3 of a percentage point to 3.1% and the count by 164 to 2,019, while there were 0.2% increases in Forest Heath, with the count up 54 at 418 (1.1%), Ipswich, up 98 to 2,145 (2.9%) and Tendring, up 34 to 2,213 (2.9%).

Increases in 0.1% were recorded in Braintree, up 57 to 1,278 (1.5%), Chelmsford, up 53 to 1,330 (1.3), Mid Suffolk, up 31 to 579 (1.1%), St Edmundsbury, up 51 to 875 (1.4%), and Suffolk Coastal, up 49 to 685 (1.0%).

Smaller increases left the rate unchanged in Babergh, up 22 to 568 (1.1%), Colchester, up 75 to 1,712 (1.5%), and Uttlesford, up six to 315 (0.7%), and Maldon bucked the trend with the count falling by six to 463 and the rate dipping by 0.1% to 1.2%.

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