Unemployment falls, except for women

The unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to 7.8% from October to December, but rose slightly for women, according to statistics from the Office for National Statistics.

There were 2.50 million unemployed people, down 14,000 on July to September 2012 and down 156,000 on a year earlier. The ONS says 2,000 more women were unemployed between October and December than between July and September. The figures also show there were fewer people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in January 2013 than in December 2012.

Of those who were employed, 73% were working full-time and 27% were working part-time. However, full-time employment has not yet recovered from the falls that occurred through the 2008-09 recession. Full-time employment between October and December 2012 was 378,000 lower than in April to June 2008. Part-time employment was 572,000 higher compared with the same period.

The number of employees increased by 133,000 to reach 25.24 million and the number of self-employed people increased by 25,000 to reach 4.22 million.

Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 1.3% comparing October to December 2012 with the same period a year earlier. In cash terms, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were £445 in December 2012, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay, up from £439 a year earlier.

The ONS says there continues to be a cut in the real value of pay, as inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index was 2.7% between December 2011 and December 2012.

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