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Weather: Nature joins in 'dry January'

Provisional figures show it has been drier than average in most areas of the UK so far this month, with a few places receiving around 20% of the month's average rainfall.

We would expect to see around 50% of the average rainfall at this point in the month.

Credit: Bill Lowis

The weather for much of the first half of January has been generally settled, though temperatures have alternated between just above and just below average.

Unemployment drops in the North East

Unemployment has dropped by 0.6% in the North East between September and November, The figure is now 87,000.

Unemployment has fallen Credit: PA

Nationally, unemployment in the UK has fallen by 52,000 to 1.6 million in November, according to official figures - the lowest number since 2006.

The UK now has one of the lowest jobless rates in Europe at 4.8%. However, the number of people in work also fell from 9,000 to 31.8 million.

Meanwhile, average earnings increased by 2.8% in the year to November, a 0.2% up on the previous month.

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