Jobless figure at 20-year low

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The Independent Online

The number of people out of work and claiming benefit last month fell by 18,000 to the lowest figure since December 1979. It stands at 1,051,300, said the Office for National Statistics. The rate of growth in wages has also fallen. Average earnings increased by 3.9% in the year to July, but were down by 0.2% on the previous month. The employment level, estimated at 27,966,000 for the period May to July, is the highest since 1984. it was up by 59,000, with the number of self-employed people increasing by 26,000. Employment Minister Tessa Jowell said: "Since the spring of 1997, employment is up in every region, and the latest figures show the largest increases in employment rates for the North East and Scotland. "There are now more and more opportunities for people to get back into work, as well as for those who have never worked to enter the labour market. "To ensure that employment growth is sustained, we need to continue to improve the help we give unemployed people, particularly in developing the s

The number of people out of work and claiming benefit last month fell by 18,000 to the lowest figure since December 1979. It stands at 1,051,300, said the Office for National Statistics. The rate of growth in wages has also fallen. Average earnings increased by 3.9% in the year to July, but were down by 0.2% on the previous month. The employment level, estimated at 27,966,000 for the period May to July, is the highest since 1984. it was up by 59,000, with the number of self-employed people increasing by 26,000. Employment Minister Tessa Jowell said: "Since the spring of 1997, employment is up in every region, and the latest figures show the largest increases in employment rates for the North East and Scotland. "There are now more and more opportunities for people to get back into work, as well as for those who have never worked to enter the labour market. "To ensure that employment growth is sustained, we need to continue to improve the help we give unemployed people, particularly in developing the skills needed by employers in growing industries."

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