Unemployment falls to 10-year low - but Norfolk claimant count rises
- Credit: PA
A record number of people are in work and unemployment has fallen by another 60,000 to its lowest rate for a decade, new figures have shown.
Unemployment in the East of England continued to fall as national figures showed a record number of people are in work.
The jobless total dipped by 60,000 to 1.69 million in the final quarter of last year, a rate of 5.1pc, the lowest since the end of 2005.
The number of people unemployed in the East of England fell by 8,000 to 124,000, giving an unemployment rate of 3.9pc.
However, in Norfolk, Fenland and Waveney, the claimant count – the number claiming out of work benefits while seeking work – rose by 955 to 9,325 in January.
That is the highest figure since April of last year, though lower than the total of 10,990 in January 2015.
Nationally, the number of people on the claimant count, including Jobseeker's Allowance, fell by 14,800 last month to 760,200, the lowest since the summer of 1975.
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The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed a record 776,000 job vacancies across the economy after a 23,000 increase in the latest quarter.
The number of people classed as economically inactive, including those on long-term sick leave, looking after a relative or who have given up looking for work, continued a downward trend, with an 88,000 quarterly fall to 8.8 million.
The economically inactive rate for women fell to 27.2pc, a record low.
Average earnings increased by 1.9pc in the year to December, 0.2pc down on the previous month.
ONS statistician Nick Palmer said: 'While the employment rate continues to hit new highs and there are more job vacancies than ever previously recorded, earnings growth remains subdued and markedly below the recent peak of mid-2015.'
The number of UK nationals in work increased by 278,000 between October and December to 28.28 million, while for non-UK nationals the figure rose by 254,000 to 3.22 million.
The proportion of non-UK nationals in work in this country has increased from 3.8pc in 1997 to 10.2pc.
There were 9,000 working days lost from 10 industrial disputes in December, one of the lowest on record. The record high for days lost in a month was 11.6 million in September 1979.