Unemployment falls by 97,000

February 18, 2015 10:04 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

UK unemployment fell by 97,000 to 1.86m in the three months to December.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the rate of unemployment is now below 6 per cent and stands at 5.7 per cent.

key_vince_with_apprentice.jpg

There are now 30.9m people in work.

The level of people in work is at a record of high of 73.2 per cent and average earnings including bonuses increased by 2.1 per cent in the quarter, compared with the previous year.

Commenting on the figures, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

"These record figures show that the number of people in work in Britain today is at an all-time high. This is an extraordinary achievement which the Liberal Democrats in government have helped to deliver. It shows we were right to resist Tory plans to cut workers' basic rights in order to get firms hiring. Those calls were unjustified and would have been greatly damaging.

"We have also cut long term unemployment by a quarter over the past year and those claiming unemployment benefits have fallen to their lowest levels since the financial crisis, creating a chance for everyone to get on in life.

"Many workers continue to see their weekly pay packet increase faster than inflation - meaning a real terms pay rise for millions of working families. We must now focus on seeing productivity rise, which means investing in long term skills to create a stronger economy through our industrial strategy."