The UK’s unemployment rate has dropped again between September and November, falling from six per cent in the previous three months to 5.8 per cent.
The news will further cheer the Conservative party, as it seeks to build an election campaign based on its economic record. There was more good news too: wages were up by 1.8 per cent and 1.7 per cent including bonuses, when compared to a year earlier.
While in normal economic conditions this rise would not be cause for much celebration, inflation (more specifically consumer price index) was at one per cent in November, meaning real wage growth. If inflation were at the Bank of England’s target rate of two per cent it would be a different story. Inflation has since fallen to 0.5 per cent.
The speed at which the unemployment rate is coming down seems to have slowed, however. For August to November there were 58,000 fewer unemployed people, the smallest quarterly drop since 2013.
Ian Burke, director of TotalJobs.com, said other concerns remain:
Today’s fall in unemployment, albeit small, is a great start to 2015 and will no doubt put a big smile on the face of the Conservative Party. However, worrying employment trends still remain - notably the number of people still on zero-hours contracts – a theme at the top of the political agenda in the run up to May’s general election. Workers in the UK are now starting to feel the benefits of real wage growth and as the country moves closer towards ‘full employment’, businesses must ensure that our continued economic recovery is built on secure and well paid employment.