The Government has welcomed the news that the number of people in work has risen this quarter by 6,000 according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics today.
Todays figures also show that ILO unemployment has risen more slowly than many expected. At 30,000 this quarters rise is the lowest in more than a year. ILO unemployment is 2.46 million (7.8%), reinforcing the fact that the UK labour market is performing better than most major economies.
Ministers said that the figures showed the Governments action on the economy was making a real difference.
However they warned that labour market difficulties were still expected to continue for some time to come, with further rises in unemployment expected next year. Ministers said they were determined to provide more help especially for young people.
The Government today announced the next 35,000 jobs to be created for the young and long term unemployed through the Future Jobs Fund bringing to 95,000 the total number of jobs announced through the Fund so far.
Todays figures show that the number of 16-24 year olds classed as ILO unemployed is lower than last months figure of 946,000. But it has increased by 15,000 over the quarter to 943,000. Most of that increase is accounted for by a 14,000 rise in the number of full time students who say they are looking for work.
In total 267,000 (28%) of the 943,000 are now shown to be in full time education. The UK youth unemployment rate, even including the students looking for work, remains below the EU average.
The figures also show a major increase of 126,000 in the total number of young people in full time education over the same period, reflecting the substantial expansion of education places, including the September Guarantee.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Yvette Cooper said:
"The figures show more people in work and a lot more young people taking up our offer of full time education and training, which is welcome news.
"The fact that unemployment is significantly lower than everyone forecast at the beginning of the year shows the support for the economy is making a real difference. But we know things are still tough for a lot of families, and unemployment is expected to increase further next year. Thats why were determined to do more with an extra 35,000 youth jobs, more apprenticeships and education places so we can guarantee no young person gets stuck in long term unemployment."
The figures out today also reinforce the fact that the UK labour market is performing better than most major economies. They show UK unemployment at 7.8%, compared to an EU average of 9.2% and lower than 14 other EU countries including France (10.0%), Ireland (13.0%) and Spain (19.3%), as well as the US (10.2%) and Canada (8.6%)
Employment Minister Jim Knight said:
"When faced with the worst global recession since the 1930s we made a decision to give jobseekers the support they need, investing 5bn since last November in creating jobs, bringing in front line advisers to Jobcentre Plus and expanding training and apprenticeships.
"Todays figures show that while there is still more to do our investment is making a real difference to peoples lives and ensuring that our labour market is performing well compared to other leading economies."