Record number of people in work
Published 23/01/2013 | 03:32
A record number of people are in work after another fall in unemployment, with restaurant giant McDonald's boosting the good news by serving up 2,500 new jobs.
But Lloyds Bank and regional airline Flybe put a dampener on the figures by announcing more than 1,200 job losses.
Lloyds was attacked by unions, which said the bank had announced 1,300 job cuts in the past few days, and a quarter of its workforce since 2009.
Ministers welcomed the unemployment figures, which also showed a further dip in the numbers claiming jobseeker's allowance.
Almost 30 million adults were in a job in the quarter to last November, up by more than half a million on the previous year.
The figure, giving an employment rate of 71%, is the highest since records began in 1971.
Employment Minister Mark Hoban said: "These are very positive figures showing employment rising for over a year and despite difficult economic circumstances unemployment is lower than when this government took office. It's good to see long-term unemployment falling and the number of young people claiming jobseeker's allowance dropping again, while the increase in vacancies shows there are jobs out there. But we are not complacent, and will continue making sure we give jobseekers the support and training they need to achieve their goal of returning to work."
Unemployment fell by 37,000 in the latest quarter to just under 2.5 million, the lowest since spring 2011.
It was the 10th consecutive fall and was coupled with another cut in the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance, which was down by 12,100 last month to 1.56 million, the lowest since June 2011.
The number of people classed as economically inactive, including those looking after a relative or who have given up looking for a job, fell by 13,000 to just over nine million. Part-time employment fell by 23,000, but this was offset by a 113,000 increase in the numbers employed full-time in the three months to November.