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Good news as UK unemployment continues to fall

In further encouraging economic news, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced in mid February that UK unemployment fell again between October and December 2012, by 14,000 to 2.5 million, and that the number of people in employment rose to its highest level ever recorded.

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The unemployment rate in the UK now stands at 7.8%, a reduction of 0.1% from the previously reported quarter. The number of people now in employment was 29.7m, an increase of 154,000. 73% of these were in full-time employment and 27% were in part-time positions. This data indicates that over 580,000 more people are in employment than a year earlier.

Unfortunately, youth unemployment (those aged between 16-24) continued to rise, by 17,000 to 974,000, which represents a rate of 20.8%, up from the previously reported 20.5% in the three months to November 2012.

Martina Milburn of the Prince’s Trust, a charity founded by Prince Charles and dedicated to getting youth into employment, commented: “It is alarming to see that youth unemployment is back on the rise. It’s now four years since the start of the recession and many young people have been left with nothing but a four year gap on their CV.”

Whilst confounding economists, the positive overall employment figures belie the still moribund economy and the fact that average earnings growth, at 1.4% pa, still remains below the CPI inflation rate of 2.7%. Commenting on this, the ONS said: “there continues to be a cut in the real value of pay.”

The Work and Pensions Secretary, Ian Duncan Smith, had this to say on the latest positive figures: “Economically inactive people who are not available for work, that’s now at the lowest level since the early nineties. “No-one is saying this is easy, but if you were in France or Spain or Greece… at these figures and say I wish I was in that position.”

Issued by: Enable Independent Financial Life Planners 25c North Street, Bishops Stortford, Herts CM23 2LD Telephone: 01279 755950 – Fax: 01279 657339

Enable Independent Financial Life Planners is a trading style of Enable Independent Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. It is important always to seek independent financial advice before making any decision regarding your finances. If you would like any assistance, please contact us.


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