Triple good news on the jobs front

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A triple dose of good news on the jobs front was unveiled today, with unemployment at a near 20-year low, record numbers of people in work and 1,000 new jobs created by a leading computer firm.

A triple dose of good news on the jobs front was unveiled today, with unemployment at a near 20-year low, record numbers of people in work and 1,000 new jobs created by a leading computer firm.

A fall in the headline rate of average earnings brought more cheer to the Government as it prepared to give details of its legislative programme for the new session of Parliament.

Official figures showed a fall of 8,400 in the claimant count last month to 1,204,000 - a jobless rate of 4.2%, the lowest since 1980.

The International Labour Organisation total for July to September, including people not eligible for benefit, fell by 39,000 to 1,721,000, a rate of 5.9%.

Meanwhile the number of people in work reached a record 27.5 million, an increase of 329,000 in the past year.

ILO unemployment has fallen by 86,000 in the past 12 months, although the level was marginally up for women in the latest quarter.

Average earnings increased by 4.7% in the year to September, down by 0.2% from the previous month, mainly because of fewer bonus payments.

Average earnings in private companies are increasing by 4.8%, compared with 3.9% in the public sector, although both figures are falling.

Despite the healthy employment figures, the Office for National Statistics also reported a continuing decline in manufacturing jobs, down by 156,000 to 3,971,000 in the three months to September.

The largest fall has been in textiles and leather firms, while nuclear fuels and coke reported increases.

Manufacturing productivity in the same quarter was 4.3% higher than a year ago, while unit wage costs in the sector were 0.3% lower.

The number of new vacancies notified to jobcentres last month increased by 7,800 to a near-record 240,600, while the stock of unfilled jobs was up by 24,400 in October to 340,800.

The claimant count has now fallen by an average of 14,600 in each of the last six months and the 4.2% jobless rate is the lowest since March 1980.

There were falls in every region of the UK last month.

Computer giant ICL gave a big boost to the employment data by announcing plans to create 1,000 new jobs in the UK.

Today's figures also revealed a big increase in the number of people in part-time jobs, up by 28,000 in the three months to September to 6.83 million.

Comments