Jobless figures drop to lowest on UK record

Chris Papadopoullos
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George Osborne
UNEMPLOYMENT fell to six per cent from 6.2 per cent in the three months to the end of August, marking the fastest annual decline since records began in 1972 and the lowest rate of joblessness since 2008.

The number of unemployed ­– those unable to find work – stood at 1.97m in the period between June and August. A record 538,000 fewer than the same period last year. And there were 30.76m people in work between June and August, meaning 73 per cent of the workforce was employed – 736,000 more than the same period a year earlier.

The figures, released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics, revealed that the UK’s recovery was showing few signs of slowing down.

However, pay rose by 0.7 per cent which was still below inflation – 1.2 per cent year-on-year in September.

Some economists believe wages will soon outstrip inflation due to rising productivity. “Stubbornly weak wage data, alongside news that in­flation is down to a five-year low and the economy is weakening in the face of more Eurozone troubles, effect­ively kills off any chance of interest rates rising for the fore­seeable future,” said Chris Williamson, economist at Markit.