Jobs boost welcomed as unemployment falls for fifth month

Published on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:14
Posted by Scott Buckler

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith today welcomed a fifth consecutive fall in unemployment as official figures showed an extra 201,000 people in employment compared to the previous quarter

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed a fall in unemployment of 46,000 between April and June compared to the previous three months. There are now 2.56million people unemployed – the lowest for almost a year. There was little change in the number of people unemployed for 12 months or longer.

There are also an extra 201,000 people in work compared to the previous quarter, 130,000 of whom are in full-time jobs. A modest increase of 16,000 in the number of temporary workers suggests the increase in number of people working is not simply down to short-term Olympic jobs.

Since April 2010, 634,000 extra people are in employment, over half a million of these outside London.

Today's figures also show the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)  fell by 5,900 in July. This is particularly welcome news because policy changes including the reassessment of incapacity benefit claimants and changes to rules on lone parents claiming income support mean more non-working people are transferring to JSA from other benefits. The total number of people claiming the main out of work benefits is now more than 100,000 lower than in May 2010.

The number of 16-24 year olds in work rose by 40,000 compared to the previous quarter, while there was a 4,000 fall in the number of people in this age who are unemployed. Excluding full-time students, there are 713,000 16-24 year olds who are unemployed.

The UK unemployment rate of 8% is considerably lower than the Eurozone average of 11.2%, European Union average of 10.4% and lower than the United States of America (8.3%), France (10.1%) and Spain (24.8%).

Mr Duncan Smith said:

"These are positive and encouraging figures demonstrating the strength of our private sector - notwithstanding the difficult economic times it is still creating jobs, the vast majority of which are full time. Unemployment is falling and the claimant count is down."

Today's statistics also reveal the number of UK nationals in work hit 26.83m between April and June – up 246,000 on the year before, compared to an increase of 15,000 in the number of non-UK nationals in work.

Source: ©DWP

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