UK employment hits record high

The number of people in work reached a record high of 29.6m over the three months to October, official data from the Office for National Statistics showed this morning.

It marked an increase of 40,000 on the previous three months and a jump of almost 500,000 on the year previously.

The employment rate was 71.2 per cent, up 0.1 on the previous quarter and up 0.9 per cent year on year.

Unemployment fell to 7.8 per cent, with 2.51m people out of work over the quarter – down 128,000 on a year before.

Meanwhile, the number of people claiming jobless benefits fell 3,000 in November.