Unemployment could go below 1 million

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The Independent Online

Unemployment figures look to be on course to fall below the one million mark after new figures showed yet another fall in the number of people claiming benefit.

Unemployment figures look to be on course to fall below the one million mark after new figures showed yet another fall in the number of people claiming benefit.

September's total was 1,035,300, a fall of 16,400 and the lowest level since 1979, unemployment has not fallen below a million since 1975, but if figures follow the recent trend that could soon become a reality again.

ILO unemployment, which includes people not claiming benefit, also fell to a record low of 1,568,000 between June and August.

New figures also show that average earnings rose by 3.9% in the year, representing an unchanged rate of growth.

David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, said: "The 100,000 fall in ILO unemployment this quarter is further confirmation that our policies are working. The employment rate is at its highest for over a decade, and new vacancies are at a near-record level.

"Over 227,000 new vacancies were notified to Job Centres in September, and we estimate that this figure represents only a third of the overall total."

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