UK jobless total at 10-year low but numbers climb in Lowestoft and Clacton areas

The UK's unemployment total is now at its lowest for more than 10 years, according to the Office for

The UK's unemployment total is now at its lowest for more than 10 years, according to the Office for National Statistics. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA - Credit: PA

Unemployment in the UK has fallen to its lowest for more than a decade, according to official figures, despite the number of people in work also declining slightly.

But the picture at local level was more mixed last month, with several parts of Suffolk and north Essex seeing increases in the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits.

The UK-wide jobless total of 1.6m for the quarter to November was down by 52,000 compared with the previous three months, representing the lowest figure since 2006.

The narrower count of those eligible to claim unemployment-ralated benefits fell by 10,100 in December to 797,800, the lowest since last September.

But the figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed that the number of people in work dipped by 9,000 to 31.8m in the quarter to November, although a rise in the number of people classed as economically inactive left the employment rate unchanged at a record high of 74.5%.

Average earnings increased by 2.8% in the year to November, up by 0.2% on the previous month.

David Freeman, senior statistician at the ONS, said: “While employment is little changed on the quarter, the rate remains at an historic high.

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“The rate at which pay is increasing continues to pick up in cash terms, though it remains moderate,” he added.

In Suffolk and north Essex, the coastal resort districts of Waveney and Tendring saw substantial increases as the autumn tourism season ended, with the count rising in Waveney by 175 to 1,940 and the jobless rate by 0.2 of a percentage point to 2.9% and in Tendring by 105 to 2,190 and the rate by 0.2 to 2.9%.

There were 0.1 increases in the rate in Colchester, up 15 to 1,365 (a rate of 1.2%), and Chelmsford, up 30 to 1,150 (1.1%), while in Forest Heath an increase of 10 to 285 left the rate unchanged at 0.7%.

The counts remained unchanged in Braintree, at exactly 1,000 (a rate of 1.1%), and Mid Suffolk, at 440 (0.7%),

and small decreases left rates unchanged in Babergh, down 20 to 410 (0.8%), Ipswich, down 15 to 1,710 (2.0%), Suffolk Coastal, down 15 to 470 (0.7%) and Uttlesford, down five to 250 (0.5%).

Rates nudged 0.1 lower in St Edmundsbury, where the count fell by 15 to 645 (a rate of 0.9%), and Maldon, down five to to 315 (0.8%).