A record number of people are in work following a fall in UK unemployment, new government figures released yesterday reveal.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in January was 925,800 after falling by 13,500, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The number of people out of work in the three months to December last year dropped by 23,000 to 1.69 million, leaving the unemployment rate at 5.5 per cent for the period.
Jim Murphy, minister of state for employment and welfare reform, said: "[The] figures tell a strong story: numbers on each of the main benefits - Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefits and lone parent benefits - are falling, employment is up and unemployment is down.
"Our reforms to the welfare state are working: more people are coming off benefits, looking for work and taking up jobs. "
Average earnings rose by four per cent in the year to December – a smaller than expected increase. This marks a 0.1 per cent decline on November.
Policymakers will undoubtedly be pleased to hear news of the pay figures, following concerns about the impact higher wages could have on inflation.
The figures were revealed a day after ONS released data showing UK inflation had reached 2.7 per cent in January, slowing down more than expected by economists.