UK Economy
 UK unemployment rate dips to 7.1%; Jobless fall biggest since 1997
By Finfacts Team
Jan 22, 2014 - 3:27 PM

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The UK unemployment rate has fallen to 7.1%, just above the level at which the Bank of England has said it will consider raising interest rates. The jobless fall was the biggest since 1997.

The number of people out of work dropped by 167,000 to 2.32m in the three months to November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The ONS also reported that the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 24,000 to 1.25m in December.

There were 5.67m people employed in the public sector, up 4,000 from June 2013 but down 52,000 from a year earlier. There were 24.42m people employed in the private sector, up 246,000 from June 2013 and up 537,000 from a year earlier.

The fall in unemployment of 167,000 was the biggest drop since the autumn of 1997. The number of 16-24 year olds out of work dipped by 39,000 from the previous three-month period to 920,000.

81.2% of people in employment worked in the private sector and the remaining 18.8% worked in the public sector.

The number of people in employment in the UK increased by 376,000 to reach 30.07m while the number of UK nationals in employment in the UK rose by 348,000 to reach 27.42m; the number of non-UK nationals in employment in the UK increased by 26,000 to reach 2.64m.

The Bank of England said last August that will consider raising rates from 0.5% when unemployment hits 7%.

Between September to November 2012 and September to November 2013, total pay and regular pay for employees in Great Britain rose by 0.9%. Between November 2012 and November 2013, the Consumer Prices Index increased by 2.1%. Prices therefore increased by more than earnings.

Meanwhile, UK public borrowing fell in December to £12.1bn, down £2.1bn from a year earlier, according to official figures.

The ONS said that borrowing for the 2013-14 financial year to date fell to £96.1bn in December  -- £4.8bn lower than the same period a year ago.

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