New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that Britain’s labour market is still seeing improvements, as wages and employment levels are on the up.
According to bbc.co.uk, over the three months leading up to December, the number of unemployed Brits declined by 125,000, meaning there were just 2.34 million people out of work at the end of 2013. As a result, the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.2 per cent.
The employment rate crept up slightly by 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the third quarter. In December, 72.1 per cent of people aged between 16 and 64 were in work, reports ons.gov.uk.
Around 22.1 per cent of the population are deemed as economically inactive, which is equal to 8.93 million people. This figure barely changed in the last quarter, only seeing a drop of 8,000 compared to the previous quarter. Someone who is inactive is not in work and has not looked for a job in the past month.
Despite the good news, shadow work and pension secretary Rachel Reeves says more needs to be done to boost employment.
“While today’s fall in overall unemployment is welcome, the government must not be complacent,” she explains. “More than 90,000 young people are still unemployed and over 250,000 young people have been unemployed for over a year.”