Jobless lowest level for a year

Unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for a year. The jobless total fell by 46,000 in the quarter to June to 2.56 million giving an unemployment rate of 8%. But there were big regional variations.

Latest ITV News reports

Federation of Small Businesses: New jobs 'mainly part time'

The national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses welcomed today's unemployment figures, but said the government should give small businesses incentives to hire people on a full time basis.

The fall in unemployment is of course welcome news, and that youth unemployment is edging downwards. While it is good that people are in jobs, these jobs are mainly part time when people would prefer full time work.

Small businesses are key to sustaining the recovery but they need to be supported in enabling a greater number of people to be in full-time work. We have long said that businesses are more likely to take on staff if they receive a tax break. So extending the National Insurance Contributions scheme to existing businesses will go some way in helping to achieve this.

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British Chamber of Commerce welcome job market figures

The British Chamber of Commerce has welcomed today's unemployment figures, but said that the rate of youth unemployment is still "unacceptably high."

Chief economist David Kern said the figures showed growth was still too weak.

The latest job market figures are encouraging, and act as a welcome contrast to recent pessimism about the UK economy. Employment is up, unemployment is down, and the rate of inactivity is at its lowest since 1991.

But there are still areas of concern. Youth unemployment is unacceptably high, and too many people are still being forced to work part-time as they cannot find a full-time job. While unemployment is likely to increase over the next 12-18 months, the peak may now be lower than the 2.9m figure we predicted in our last forecast.

It is clear is that growth in the UK economy is still too weak. Problems in the eurozone and tough austerity measures will continue to exert downward pressures on domestic demand. The government must build on these positive job figures by considering policies that help businesses deliver growth.

TUC: 'Only a matter of time' before dole queues rise again

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has warned unemployment figures will rise again Credit: Press Association

The general secretary of the TUC has said it only a matter of time before the dole quest start rising again unless the government does more to help young people into employment. He said:

“Today’s fall in unemployment is welcome, but there are worrying trends brewing and with the economy getting smaller it may only be a matter of time before the dole queues start rising again.

Young people in particular are struggling to get their careers off the ground. The number of people under 25 who are neither working or in full-time education has risen again to nearly 1.5 million.

The government’s response to this youth jobs crisis has been poor. Successful initiatives have been scrapped and then reinstated with less funding.

Ministers must step up job support before unemployment starts rising again otherwise help will come too late for too many people.”

Unemployment down to 2.56 million

Unemployment has fallen to its lowest rate for a year, after a big jump in the number of people in work. Most of the quarterly fall was recorded in London, suggesting a big jobs boosts from the Olympics.

  • Number of people out of work fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million
  • Number of people in work increased by 201,000 to almost 30 million
  • Number of people seeking jobseeker's allowance decreased by 5,900 to 1.59 million
  • Number of part-time workers reached a record high of 8.07 million
  • Number of people working part-time, because they cannot find a full time job is 1.42 million, the highest since 1992, according to the office of national statistics
  • Average earnings increased by 1.6% in the year to June, up 0.1% on the previous month
  • Youth unemployment fell by 4,000 to just over one million

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Good news on unemployment, but not for everyone

by - Former Business Editor

Good news on unemployment: 201,000 more people in jobs between April and June of this year.

  • The number of people claiming jobseeker's is down and youth unemployment is edging down too
  • Gender difference persists - the number of men claiming job seeker's allowance is down, but the number of women has nudged up
  • Big regional differences in unemployment - rates are up in Yorkshire, Humber, East and West Midlands and Northern Ireland.
  • The biggest increase in jobs was in London

Iain Duncan Smith: 'Businesses are starting to give young people a chance'

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told Sky News he welcomed today's fall in unemployment figures.

The private sector is robust, people are working hard and trying hard. [...]

Yes we have to do more, yes we need to grow more, but these figures are going in the right direction.

We are beginning to see some real results in youth unemployment. What I am beginning to detect, business are beginning to look at young people and give them a chance, and I would appeal to businesses to give young people to continue to do this, and we will help them with that.

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