Record number of people in employment

THE number of people in work reached a new record high today, while unemployment and redundancies both fell, according to official figures.

THE number of people in work reached a new record high today, while unemployment and redundancies both fell, according to official figures.

Employment increased by 175,000 in the three months to December to 29.4 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1971.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 10,800 in January to 794,600, the lowest total since the summer of 1975. It was the 16th consecutive monthly reduction.

Unemployment, including people not eligible for benefit, fell by 61,000 in the quarter to December to 1.61 million, the lowest for almost two years.

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including those looking after a sick relative, on early retirement or who have given up looking for a job, also fell in the latest quarter - by 54,000 to reach 7.92 million.

But the total is still 51,000 higher than a year ago and represents 21% of the working population, according to today's data from the Office for National Statistics.

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Around 111,000 workers were made redundant in the latest quarter, the lowest figure since comparable records began in 1995, and 24,000 down on the previous three months.

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