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News : UK Economy Last Updated: Dec 18, 2013 - 4:16 PM

UK unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 2009
By Finfacts Team
Dec 18, 2013 - 4:14 PM

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The UK unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 2009, official figures show. At 7.4%, this is the lowest rate since the February-to-April period in 2009, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said today.

The number of people out of work dropped by 99,000 to 2.39m in the three months to October, the ONS said.

The percentage of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work (the employment rate) was 72.0%. The employment rate is up 0.4 percentage points from May to July 2013 and up 0.8 from a year earlier. There were 30.09 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 250,000 from May to July 2013 and up 485,000 from a year earlier.

The employment rate for people aged 65 and over was 10.0%, the highest since comparable records began in 1992, and up from 9.2% compared with a year earlier.

For August to October 2013, there were 1.47 million employees and self-employed people who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job, the highest figure since records began in 1992. For August to October 2013, almost a third of male employees and self-employed people who were working part-time were doing so because they could not find a full-time job. The corresponding figure for women was 13.7%.

There were 5.67 million people employed in the public sector, up 4,000 from June 2013 but down 52,000 from a year earlier; there were 24.42 million people employed in the private sector, up 246,000 from June 2013 and up 537,000 from a year earlier; 81.2% of people in employment worked in the private sector and the remaining 18.8% worked in the public sector.


  • Average total pay (including bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £476 per week;
  • Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £448 per week.

Between August to October 2012 and August to October 2013:

  • Total pay for employees in Great Britain rose by 0.9%;
  • Regular pay for employees in Great Britain rose by 0.8%.

Between October 2012 and October 2013, the Consumer Prices Index increased by 2.2%. Prices therefore increased by more than earnings.

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