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Jobless and claimant count tumbles to record low

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The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in November has fallen to the lowest level since 1975, with the jobless count also in decline.

According to UK labour market statistics for October and November, the number of claimants fell to 813,000 in November from 824,100 in October, beating this decade’s previous low of 819,000 set in February 2005.

The International Labour Organisation’s measure also confirmed that unemployment continued to decline, at least up to October. According to this measure, there were 1,615,000 people unemployed in the UK in the three months to October, down from 1,642,000 in the three months to September. This is the lowest level since March 2006 and takes the unemployment rate down to 5.4 per cent of the economically active population.

The annual rate of wage growth rose to 4.1 per cent in September. However according to the Labour Market Statistics, the average wage including bonuses declined 0.1 per cent in October, to take the three month average annual growth rate down to 4.0 per cent. Excluding bonuses, wage inflation moderated to 3.6 per cent from 3.7 per cent.

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Annie Hayes

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