Unemployment falls

By Ian Dunt

There was mixed news when employment figures were released earlier today, with unemployment falling but claimant counts up.

Unemployment fell by 8,000 to 2.47 million. The number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance rose by 2,300.

The Office of National Statistics figures, for the three months to July, showed the overall UK unemployment rate remained at 7.8%.

The figures do little to settle the argument over the government’s economic agenda. Analysts expect unemployment to rise significantly when public spending cuts begin later in the year.

Shadow work and pnsions secretary Yvette Cooper said: “These figures are worrying and show it is a foolhardy time to make such big cuts. Although we saw a very welcome drop in overall unemployment and an increase in jobs up until July, the most recent figures are more grim.”

The number of people employed rose by 286,000, the most significant rise since 1971.

But many are concerned that healthy figure is artificially boosted by the number of people doing part-time work.