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Jowell: Labour Market Strong


Employment Minister Tessa Jowell yesterday welcomed the publication of the latest Labour Market Statistics which show that the claimant count is falling again, and now stands at just over 1 million. The fastest fall has been among the long-term unemployed. New vacancies also continue at a high level, with 219,500 reported in November.

The number of people in work in August to October has risen by 18,000 compared to the previous three months, and is just below 28 million.

The ILO unemployment rate has gone up to 5.5 per cent, compared to 5.3 per cent in the previous three months. ILO unemployment has risen to 1.62 million, up 36,000 on the previous period.

Employment Minister Tessa Jowell said, “Over the last year employment has shown strong growth, and is now over 300,000 higher than this time last year. New vacancies are still at high levels, and I am pleased that the claimant count – which is the most up-to-date figure we have – is falling.

“I am particularly delighted that our New Deal clients, long-term unemployed people on welfare, are moving into jobs. That is why we are expanding our New Deal programmes. In a healthy labour market, we will always have people moving in and out of work. But tackling long-term unemployment is essential if we are to achieve our aim of sustained full employment.

“We are making good progress on tackling long-term unemployment. The claimant count figure for those unemployed for more than 12 months has dropped by almost 6,000 since last month, and is down by 21.6 per cent over the year. The claimant unemployment rate and claimant long-term unemployment are at their lowest levels for over 20 years. ILO long-term unemployment for August to October shows a fall of 23,000 compared to the previous three months.

“Our policies are focused on ensuring the long-term health of the labour market, by encouraging local action to give people with the right skills access to the right jobs. If these policies are to remain effective, it is essential that we maintain wage responsibility across the public and private sectors. The average earnings growth rate was 4.2 per cent in the three months to October, and we must remain vigilant.”

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