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Unemployment drops below 8% but JSA claimant level rises

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Unemployment drops below 8% but JSA claimant level rises

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Communities, Finance

Unemployment drops below 8% but JSA claimant level rises Unemployment drops below 8% but JSA claimant level rises

The unemployment rate has fallen below 8% for the first time since January 2009 but the amount of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has risen, new figures show.

The figures have been released on the same day that the Government chose to annouce that around a 1,000 jobs are to be cut at the Department of Education.

The Office of National Statistics' (ONS) latest report shows that there were 2.51 million unemployed people for July to September 2012 - down 49,000 on April to June 2012, and down a further 110,000 on a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance increased by 10,100 to reach 1.58 million.

The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 71.2%, up 0.2 on April to June 2012, and up 1.0 on a year earlier.

The number of 16 to 24-year-olds in work increased by 49,000, but unemployment within the age group still remains at almost 21%.

There were 29.58 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 100,000 on April to June 2012 and up 513,000 on a year earlier.

In the same period, the number of employees increased by 87,000 to reach 25.11 million, but the number of self-employed people fell by 11,000 to reach 4.19 million.

The numbers of people in full-time and part-time employment saw similar rises - at 51,000 and 49,000 respectively - but contrasted sharply with 2007's September to July figures, which comparatively show a 399,000 decrease in full-time employees and a 713,000 increase in part-timers.

The employment minister, Mark Hoban, said: "Another rise in employment shows there are jobs out there. We'll work with people who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and help them get a job.

"Unemployment in the UK is well below levels in the Eurozone, the European Union and is lower than in the United States, showing that our welfare reforms are helping the UK compete effectively in the global market place.

"The fall in youth unemployment is particularly welcome, although we’re not complacent about the scale of the challenge still facing us.

"We’re working hard to help the long-term unemployed back into a job. That’s why we’ve committed to supporting the hardest-to-help people over a two year period through the Work Programme so that we can help them overcome their barriers to work and get them into sustainable jobs."

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, welcomed the fall in unemployment but still expressed concerns. He said: “Over a third of the unemployed have been out of work for over a year. These are precisely the people the Government’s flagship Work Programme were supposed to help. But the programme is in total gridlock because JobCentre staff have lost all faith in it. Now we’ve got long-term unemployment at nearly a million.

“I don’t think ministers should be complacent for a moment about the trend. There are real worries in the monthly figures. Youth unemployment and women’s unemployment are both higher than a month ago. That is why Labour called for a bank bonus tax to fund jobs for young people out of work.

“This failure is now becoming deep-set and it’s costing us a fortune. Long term unemployment and a rising claimant count are helping push up the welfare bill by an eye-watering £24 billion."

Labour's Working and Pensions Secretary, Yvette Cooper, added: “The jobs market is still tough for a lot of people, but the drop in unemployment and youth unemployment is very welcome. It means 450,000 fewer people are out of work than everyone expected last spring.”

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