Unemployment falls by 1,000 in the East of England, figures reveal

A group of men wait outside Chatham Job Centre Plus. Pic by Gareth Fuller/PA A group of men wait outside Chatham Job Centre Plus. Pic by Gareth Fuller/PA

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
9:37 AM

Unemployment in the East of England fell by 1,000 in the three months to December, official figures have revealed.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Rate of unemployment fall slowing, ONS says

Nick Palmer, senior labour market statistician at the ONS, said: “The latest unemployment rate is 7.2pc, down 0.4 on the previous quarter.

This is a comparison between the July-September and October-December three-month periods.

It is higher than last month’s published figure of 7.1pc for September-November.

“However, it is not directly comparable with the figure published this month, as the Labour Force Survey is not designed to measure monthly changes.

“The main conclusion that should be drawn from these latest figures is that the rate at which unemployment has been falling is likely to have slowed down.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 180,000 people were unemployed in the region between October and December.

The region’s unemployment rate was 5.7% and it saw a fall of 0.6% during the period. The worst area in the UK was the South West which recorded a 3,000 increase in the number of people without a job.

Unemployment nationally has continued to fall and a record number of women are in work, new figures revealed.

The jobless total was 2.34 million in the final quarter of last year, down by 125,000, giving a rate of 7.2%.

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance dipped to 1.22 million in January, down by 27,000 - the 15th consecutive monthly fall.

More women are in work than at any time since records began in 1971, at just over 14 million, the data from the ONS showed.

But 1.4 million people are in part-time jobs because they cannot find full-time work, a fall of 29,000 over the latest quarter but 46,000 higher than a year ago.

Youth and long-term unemployment have both fallen, but there has been little change in the number of people classed as economically inactive, which has remained just under nine million.

The total includes people on long-term sick leave, students, those looking after a sick relative or those who have given up looking for a job.

Employment now stands at more than 30 million, a rate of 72.1%, which is 0.6% higher than a year ago.

The unemployment rate will remain a key focus, but is no longer linked to the Bank of England’s pledge to keep interest rates at record lows after governor Mark Carney unveiled a new forward guidance policy last week.

The Bank had pledged not to consider a rate rise until unemployment fell to 7%, but with that target set to be reached much earlier than expected, the guidance has been replaced.

Average earnings increased by 1.1% in the year to December, 0.2 percentage points up on the previous month, giving average weekly earnings of £478.

The number of people out of work for longer than a year has fallen by 45,000 to 845,000, while 451,000 have been unemployed for over two years, down by 7,000.

There were 917,000 unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds in the latest quarter, down by 48,000 on the previous three months.

Job vacancies were up by 28,000 to 580,000, the highest since 2008.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “With employment continuing to increase, it’s clear that the Government’s long-term plan to build a stronger, more secure economy is helping businesses create jobs and get people into work.

“Record numbers of women are in work and youth unemployment continues to fall, which means more people have the security of a regular wage and can plan for their future.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “Quarter by quarter, job by job, we are rebuilding Britain’s economy. Every job created is a family helped and a boost to our economic growth.

“This, combined with the encouraging news on inflation earlier this week, is further convincing evidence that our long-term economic plan is working.

“Rebuilding the economy, boosting employment, securing growth and controlling inflation are the only ways to secure living standards for the future.”

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “It’s good to see another fall in unemployment. Our Long Term Economic Plan means more people with the security of a wage and a chance in life.”

But Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: “Sadly, today’s fall in the total number of unemployed masks the scourge of under-employment, which is growing at an alarming rate across the country.

“Too many people are stuck in minimum-wage jobs, on zero-hours contracts and part-time work when they are desperate to go full-time.

“Desperate because they need regular, secure employment to feed their families without having to resort to food banks, pay their bills without falling into the grip of payday lenders and decent pay to rebuild consumer confidence and grow the economy.

“Growing the economy means giving more workers across the UK a boost to their earnings.”

Nick Palmer, senior labour market statistician at the ONS, said: “The latest unemployment rate is 7.2%, down 0.4 on the previous quarter. This is a comparison between the July-September and October-December three-month periods.

“It is higher than last month’s published figure of 7.1% for September-November. However, it is not directly comparable with the figure published this month, as the Labour Force Survey is not designed to measure monthly changes.

“The main conclusion that should be drawn from these latest figures is that the rate at which unemployment has been falling is likely to have slowed down.”

7 comments

  • "The Bank had pledged not to consider a rate rise until unemployment fell to 7pc, but with that target set to be reached much earlier than expected, the guidance has been replaced." One big fiddle. Of course they were not going to raise rates. For mortgage holders Yes, for savers No.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

  • They do not know what the true figure is. It is just like the "inflation rate". All that is, is the Government telling companies how much they can raise their prices.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

  • Unemployment falls by 1000?. It would be very interesting to know if that is down to jobs being created (ha! ha!) or just due to the juggling of figures including those on zero hours contracts, sanctions and removal of benefits. Official figures and actual figures are very rarely the same.

    Report this comment

    Clungemeister

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

  • Great news al-round isn't it? When you are robbed blind and reached rock bottom, there is only one way to go isn't there. Only trouble is no one has noticed, pull the other one, there's a part-time job or a training course on it.

    Report this comment

    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

  • Unemployment falls by 1000?. It would be very interesting to know if that is down to jobs being created (ha! ha!) or just due to the juggling of figures including those on zero hours contracts, sanctions and removal of benefits. Official figures and actual figures are very rarely the same.

    Report this comment

    Clungemeister

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

  • Why are we never told how many are full time jobs. Because it wouldnt look good would it?

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

  • this is not an economic recovery . Its a third world recovery with unemployment going down with mass jobs all offering the minimum wage . Part time employment . Cuts in hours . . The bottom line its not a sustainable recovery

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Most read business stories

Basil Todd with Palmers on Norwich Street in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Palmers in Dereham is sold to well-known businessman with a £2m plan to rejuvenate town

A £2m plan to transform Palmers department store in Dereham and a neighbouring eyesore into an upmarket supermarket and clothing shop has been confirmed.

Read full story »

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT