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Record fall in youth unemployment

As part of the Government’s long-term economic plan, the unemployment rate has also fallen again, down to 6.4%, the lowest since late 2008.

Youth unemployment has fallen by 206,000 over the past year, which is the largest drop since records began in 1984, bringing it to the lowest level for nearly 6 years. The youth unemployment rate is down 4.5 percentage points compared to a year ago.

Unemployment fell by 437,000 over the past year - and 132,000 in only the past 3 months - which is the biggest annual fall in 25 years.

Schemes such as the Government’s Work Programme have also contributed to the biggest fall in long-term unemployment since 1998 - down by 171,000 on the year.

The number of people in work also continues to rise - with 820,000 more people in a job compared with 12 months ago - meaning on average over 15,000 more people are in work each week. The vast majority of the increase in employment was full-time.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:

"In the past, many people in our society were written off and trapped in unemployment and welfare dependency. But through our welfare reforms, we are helping people to break that cycle and get back into work.  

"The Government's long-term economic plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society is working - with employment going up, record drops in youth unemployment and hundreds of thousands of people replacing their signing-on book with a wage packet.

“This is transformative, not only for these individuals and their families, but for society as a whole. That is why we have set full employment as one of our key targets - bringing security and hope to families who have lost their jobs and others who never had jobs, we put people at the heart of the plan. The best way to help even more people into work is to go on delivering a plan that's creating growth and jobs."

The figures published today also include employment by nationality. They show that over the last year almost three quarters of the rise in the number of people in work were UK nationals.

Employment now stands at 30.6 million - over 2 million more people are in private sector employment since the start of 2010. The employment rate is now 73%, up 1.5 percentage points on the year and is higher than the United States and the EU average, and is in the top five countries in the EU.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell again, a reduction of 420,600 over the past year – the fastest annual fall since 1973. Long-term JSA claimants fell by 119,200 compared to last year, the largest annual fall since 1998.

There are 487,300 fewer people claiming JSA than in 2010. The number of young people on Jobseeker’s Allowance has been falling now for 32 months, down 132,600 on the year.

Job vacancies rose again, up 119,000 over the past year bringing the number of vacancies in the UK economy to 656,000.

Background to labour market statistics: August 2014

This month's Labour Force Survey covers April 2014 to June 2014. The claimant count is for July 2014 and the vacancy count for May 2014 to July 2014.

The number of people in work rose this quarter

30.6 million people were in work in April to June 2014

The employment level rose 167,000 on the previous quarter and 820,000 on the year

The employment rate is 73.0%, up 0.3 points on the quarter and up 1.5 points on the year

ILO unemployment fell this quarter

2.08 million people were ILO unemployed in the April to June 2014 quarter, down 132,000 on the previous quarter and 437,000 on the year

The ILO unemployment rate is 6.4%, down 0.4 points on the quarter and down 1.4 points on the year

The level of economic inactivity is up on the quarter but down on the year

The economic inactivity level is 8.86 million in the April to June 2014 quarter, down 130,000 on the year

The economic inactivity rate is 21.9%, down 0.4 points on the year

Excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 16.3%, down 0.3 points on the year

The number of people claiming one of the main out-of-work benefits is falling 

Claimant unemployment was 1.01 million in July 2014, down 33,600 on the month and down 420,600 on the year

The claimant count rate is 3.0%, down 0.1 points on the month and down 1.3 points on the year

In the year to February 2014, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 16,400 to 2.46 million

In the year to February 2014, the number of lone parents on income support fell 24,800 to 480,100 - the provisional figure for June 2014 is 470,000

The number of redundancies fell and unfilled vacancies rose on the quarter

There were 111,000 redundancies in April to June 2014, down 15,000 on the previous quarter and 12,000 on the year

ONS' vacancy survey estimates an average of 656,000 unfilled vacancies in the three months to July 2014, up 19,000 on the previous quarter and 119,000 on the year


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