Jobseeker's allowance claimants drop as jobless rate falls to 7.7%

But unions not happy as yet more public sector jobs lost and more forced into part-time work

In another strong indicator of the UK’s economic recovery, unemployment has dropped to 7.7 per cent, down 0.4 per cent from the same period last year.

Government figures show the total number of those without jobs dropped by 24,000 to just under 2.5 million in the three months to July, and the “claimant count” of those on jobseeker’s allowance fell by 32,600.

Despite the good news, there were concerns among unions that public sector job numbers dropped significantly, and the number of people working part-time because they are unable to get full-time work rose yet again, now at its highest level since records began in 1992.

The figures released today have taken on a new significance in recent weeks, because of the pledge by new Bank of England governor Mark Carney that lending rates will be frozen until unemployment falls to 7 per cent.

It had been predicted to take around three years, but that could now be seen as a conservative estimate.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said: “This is a really encouraging set of figures, with the number of people in work rocketing by 80,000 in only three months – a rise driven entirely by a growth in full-time jobs.

“The private sector has created jobs for 1.4 million more people under this government, and there are now more people employed in the private sector than ever before.

“These are all positive signs that suggest the UK economy is turning the corner.”

Mr Hoban did not address the concerns among the public sector that 34,000 jobs had been scrapped in the three months up to June. Around 21,000 jobs were lost in the NHS alone, according to TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, who said the figures showed government cuts were “continuing to hit vital frontline services”.

“Despite the Chancellor's boasts this week, austerity is continuing to cause damage and we are far from a strong and sustained jobs recovery,” Ms O’Grady said.

“While the headline figures show small improvements, youth employment has fallen sharply and long-term unemployment is still rising. There are also still record numbers of people trapped in involuntarily part-time work with underemployment continuing to soar.”

Ms O’Grady also drew attention to the average increase in pay compared to last year, which at 1.1 per cent was far below the 2.8 per cent rate of inflation.

She said: “Across the economy ordinary people are yet to feel the benefits of tentative growth, with wages rising around three times slower than prices.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Accessory Fitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Accessory Fitter required. Bristol

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£14000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is very proud of t...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales

£75000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Head of Sales position is offered on...

East15 Acting School: Finance and Contracts Officer

£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen