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Jobless count tumbles setting new record

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The unemployment rate has fallen by 28,000 over the last quarter with the numbers in employment swelling to 29.10 million over the same period, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1971.

The official figures from the Office of National Statistics paints a promising picture. Fuelling further confidence in the labour market is figures showing that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has also fallen by 104,000 over the year, equating to a fall for eleven consecutive months.

Growth in average earnings excluding bonuses is also up coming in at 3.5 per cent in July, up 0.1 from the previous month.

Despite the good news, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) claim the figures mask a downturn in the public sector. The statistics indicate that the UK jobs market was operating at two speeds in the summer months with public sector pay and employment prospects starting to lag behind those in the private sector, says the professional body.

The CIPD’s Chief Economist, John Philpott said: “Even without an overall softening in the jobs market, times are already getting much tougher in the public sector. The living standards and job prospects of public servants are being squeezed as they experience an efficiency drive combined with what is, in effect, a public sector pay policy that, although designed primarily to curb growth in government spending, is also presently the main downward influence on overall pay pressure.”

Employment minister, Caroline Flint said the government continues its determination to reach its goal of full employment on the back of a strengthening labour market.

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Annie Hayes

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