Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics, the ONS, have shown that the number of unemployed fell by 59,000. The fall means that unemployment rate stays at 4.3%, the lowest rate in forty years. The number of people in employment fell by 14,000 against the last quarter, but remains 279,000 higher than a year ago.
Damian Hinds, the Minister for Employment, said:
“The strength of the economy is driving an increase in full-time, permanent jobs and a near-record number of people are now in work thanks to the government’s welfare reforms. When unemployment fell to 5% early last year, many people thought it couldn’t get much lower, and yet it now stands at 4.3%.
Everyone should be given the opportunity to find work and enjoy the stability of a regular pay packet. We’ve cut income tax for 30 million people since 2010, meaning people keep more of their money each month”.
Debbie Abrahams, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:
“Today’s stats are further evidence of Tory economic failure, only a week out from their next Budget. Both employment and real wages are falling while the price of household essentials balloons, leaving millions of people worse off than they were in 2010.
Over seven million people live in poverty in working households. Labour will introduce a £10 an hour Real Living Wage, scrap the public sector pay cap and reform the government’s failing Universal Credit programme”.