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Unemployment fell by 99,000 between August and October to reach 2.39m, but employment was boosted by record numbers of predominantly male part-time and self-employed workers, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The figures show the percentage of people unemployed was 72.0%, lower than before the 2008-09 downturn. The ONS says that between August and October 2013, there were 1.47 million employees and self-employed people who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job, the highest figure since records began in 1992. For August to October 2013, almost a third of male employees and self-employed people who were working part-time were doing so because they could not find a full-time job. The corresponding figure for women was 13.7%.
Between October and November 2013 the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 36,700 to reach 1.27 million, the lowest figure since January 2009. Between November 2012 and November 2013 the number of JSA claimants fell by 299,300, the largest annual fall since April 1998. There were 824,800 men and 443,800 women claiming JSA.
Average weekly earnings including bonus payments rose by 0.9% comparing August to October 2013 with the same period a year earlier. Average weekly earnings for the private sector increased by 1.3%, but average weekly earnings for the public sector fell by 0.3%.
The figures mean that 7.4% of the potential workforce is unemployed. The highest employment rates were for people aged from 25 to 49 where 8 out of 10 people were in work. The lowest employment rates were for people aged from 16 to 24 where just over half of people were in work. Many young people were not in work because they were in full-time education. For people aged 65 and over, 1 person in 10 were in work, the highest employment rate for this age group since comparable records began in 1992.