Unemployment in the UK has tumbled by 82,000 to 2.51 million in the three months to October, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Youth unemployment also fell by 72,000 to 945,000, with employment minister Mark Hoban welcoming the “good signs” of a “strong labour market”.
“This is a good set of figures. Not only have we seen the overall number of people out of work fall, there are more people in work. We’ve seen a reduction in the number of young people, excluding students, who are unemployed, the lowest figure now since early 2009,” he told Sky News.
Labour welcomed the news, but warned that the economy was not “out of the woods yet”, shadow work and pensions spokesman Liam Byrne said that falling real-terms wages and high long-term unemployment reflected a “sense of fragility”.
“What today’s figures really show is that Britain’s strivers are under more pressure now than ever, which is why it is absolutely wrong to be taking another whack out of families’ tax credits with the proposed strivers tax,” he added.
In further good news, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 3,000 to a level of 1.58m.
Despite this, London bucked the national trend as it saw a 5,000 boost in unemployment.