UK unemployment falls

Unemployment in the UK fell to 7.7 per cent of the population in the three months to July, a fall of 0.1 per cent from the previous quarter, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown.

It means there were 24,000 fewer individuals out of work during this period, taking the total number of unemployed people in the UK to 2.49 million.

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has said that interest rates will not be raised from their persistently low level of 0.5 per cent until the unemployment rate reaches seven per cent.

Meanwhile, UK employment rose by 0.2 per cent to 71.6 per cent in the three months to July.

The ONS figures also show that, compared with July, the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 32,600 to 1.4 million in August. This is the lowest number of individuals to be claiming the benefit since February 2009.

However, the number of employees and self-employed individuals working part-time as a result of not being able to find full time work has more than doubled from 689,000 to 1.45 million between 2008 and 2013.

Almost a third of male workers in May to July this year who were working part-time were doing so because they could not find a full-time job.

The director of economics at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Stephen Gifford, said the figures mirror the recent upturn in economic data.

"Encouragingly, jobs growth in the private sector was more than three times greater than losses in the public sector."

"Despite better news on the direction of travel, youth unemployment is persistently high and growth alone will not address this problem."

"We've called on the Government to reduce employers' National Insurance to help tackle this, and the launch of the Million Jobs campaign further emphasises the need for action to help young people enter a tough jobs market."