Unemployment in the South West fell by 10,000 in the three months to November, official figures have revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that a total of 147,000 people were unemployed in the region between September and November. The region’s unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent and fell 6.37 per cent in the period.
Nationwide, a record number of people are in work after yet another fall in unemployment and a further dip in the numbers claiming jobseeker’s allowance.
Almost 30 million adults were in a job in the quarter to last November, up by more than half a million on the previous year. The figure, giving an employment rate of 71 per cent, is the highest since records began in 1971.
Unemployment fell by 37,000 in the latest quarter to just under 2.5 million, the lowest since spring 2011. It was the tenth consecutive fall and was coupled with another cut in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, which was down by 12,100 last month to 1.56 million, the lowest since June 2011.
Employment Minister Mark Hoban welcomed the figures, saying employment had increased for 15 months. The UK employment rate is growing at almost double the rate of the US, and faster than any other G7 country, he said.
“These are very positive figures showing employment rising for 15 months and despite difficult economic circumstances, unemployment is lower than when this Government took office.
“It’s good to see long-term unemployment falling and the number of young people claiming jobseeker’s allowance dropping again, while the increase in vacancies shows there are jobs out there. But we are not complacent, and will continue making sure we give jobseekers the support and training they need to achieve their goal of returning to work.”
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Any fall must be welcome but progress is still painfully slow for the 2.49 million people still desperately looking for a job. The number of high street names going into liquidation shows there is no room for complacency. And only yesterday the Government announced more than 5,000 cuts to Army personnel.”