New data from the Office for National Statistics shows that unemployment fell by 7,000 to 2.46 million in the three months to December 2009.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the data showed that there are 450,000 fewer unemployed people in the UK than was predicted at the time of the last Budget.
The number of unemployed has fallen to 2.46 million, the first decline in unemployment since the three months to May 2008, leaving the jobless rate at 7.8%. There was however a rise in the number of ‘inactive’ people in the UK, neither working nor looking for work. This category of job seeker, which now sits at more than 8m, includes students and those that have recently graduated.
Locally, the number of people out of work has varied from region to region. The hardest hit being the north-east, which now has almost 10% of it’s population out of work. In contrast, those in the south east are the least likely to unemployed (at just 6.2%).
Yvette Cooper, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: “The jobs market is still tough for a lot of people, but the drop in unemployment and youth unemployment is very welcome.
And there’s a glimmer of hope for job seekers as the ONS report also revealed an increase in opportunities. Job vacancies in the UK had risen by 16,000 to 448,000 by the end of last month.
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