Labour Market Statistics
February 19 2014 - The unemployment rate stands at 7.2% - down 0.4% on the quarter and 0.6% down over the year.
30.15 million people were in work in October to December 2013 according to the labour force survey (LFS).
The number of people employed was 193,000 higher this quarter and 396,000 higher than last year.
The working age employment rate is 72.1% - up 0.3% on the last quarter and up 0.6% over the year.
ILO-defined unemployment in October to December 2013 was 2.34 million (7.2%) -
down by 125,000 on the previous quarter and down 161,000 on the same quarter last year.
The claimant count for key out-of-work benefits was 1.22 million in January -
down by 27,600 on the previous month and down 327,600 on the year.
Earnings growth over the year in terms of weekly pay to December 2013 (including bonuses) was 1.1%.
Minister for Employment Esther McVey said:
"With employment continuing to increase, it's clear that the government's long-term plan to build a stronger, more secure economy is helping businesses create jobs and get people into work.
"Record numbers of women are in work and youth unemployment continues to fall, which means more people have the security of a regular wage and can plan for their future."
Mark Beatson, Chief Economist of the CIPD, commented:
"Worryingly, the latest quarterly figures show that output per hour fell by 0.3%.This reflects the fact that the UK economy
continues to suffer from a productivity hangover that is still hampering businesses' efforts to become more competitive.
"One of the cures to this stubborn condition lies in greater business investment; especially in training spend which has
fallen relatively sharply in recent years. In addition, managers must find more creative ways to continue motivating employees. Communication with staff about other elements of the benefits package, praise and financial education are just some of the many tools that managers can use to offset the risk of a demotivated and unproductive workforce.
"Overall, while the immediate jobs outlook remains relatively bright, it looks as though the vast majority of workers will at best
experience a standstill in real earnings, with the greatest challenges being faced by the rapidly growing number of self-employed people.
As various studies have shown, average earnings for the self-employed have suffered a substantial fall since the recession and a striking point
about the latest figures is that roughly three-quarters of the quarterly increase in employment is made up of self-employed.
"It's worth noting, however, that these figures are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to margins of error. Last month's figures were much better than anyone expected so we might just be seeing statistical variation here. The underlying trend in employment is still clearly upwards. However, with productivity still languishing, no-one should assume stronger signs of growth will translate into significant further job creation. Employment growth is usually a lagging indicator, but appears to have been more of a leading indicator in this recovery"