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January 20, 2010    

UK unemployment continues to slow

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by Kay Murchie

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed that UK unemployment fell by 7,000 in the three months to November to 2.46 million, taking the unemployment rate down to 7.8%.

Furthermore, the number of Britons claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) fell by more than expected in December, down 15,000 to 1.61 million - its biggest amount since April 2007.

The latest figures will boost hopes that the UK economy is on the road to recovery and is emerging from its worst recession on record.

The UK economy, which has now contracted for six consecutive quarters, has been lagging behind other economies and is now the last major economy that is still in recession.

Official figures on 26 January will confirm whether the economy saw positive growth in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, youth unemployment also fell in the three months to November, down to 927,000 from 943,000 - analysts have recently raised concerns that unemployment among 16-24-year-olds could exceed one million in the short-term.

The Government recently unveiled a £1.5 billion pledge to ensure that no 16-to-24-year old is out of work for more than six months.

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