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Unemployment falls by 125,000 to reach 2.34 million

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Unemployment in Britain fell by 125,000 to reach 2.34 million in the three months to December, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The employment figure now stands at 30.15 million, up 193,000 from the July to September 2013 period and up 396,000 from a year earlier.

The unemployment rate rose between October and December to 7.2%, up from 7.1% compared to the previous reading, which covered the three months to November 2013, but it was down 0.4% for the July to September 2013 period.

Meanwhile, the average weekly wage, including bonus payments, rose by 1.1% between October and December 2013 compared with the same period a year earlier.

More women are in work than at any time since records began in 1971, at just over 14 million.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These are encouraging figures for the millions of people desperate for work. It is good that unemployment levels continue to fall.

“But people already in work have less to cheer about with prices still rising twice as fast as wages. While we have a record proportion of women in employment the widening gender pay gap means many women are not getting the fair pay they deserve.

“Jobless levels are falling but there’s a long way to go before we see the rates of pay and employment enjoyed before the recession.”

The figures come a week after the Bank of England effectively scrapped its policy of linking a rise in interest rates to a fall in the unemployment rate.

Governor Mark Carney previously said he would consider increasing rates when the jobless rate fell to 7%.




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