Unemployment falls below 2 million for the first time in almost 6 years
UK unemployment has fallen below the 2 million mark for the first time since 2008; continuing the positive direction of movement in the job market that has been in place since 2011.
The number of unemployed people has fallen by 154,000 to 1.97 million during the quarter to the end of August 2014, which equates to an unemployment rate of 6%.
The current figure shows a fall of 538,000 from 2013; the largest annual fall in unemployment since records began in 1972.
The employment rate now stands at 73%. The last quarter up to August 2014, saw 30.76 million people in work which is an increase of 46,000 on the previous quarter and a year on year rise of 736,000.
The recovery from the recession has taken longer than expected, but the strength of employment throughout that period has continued to surprise. Jobs growth remains very strong, with an increase of 736,000 people in employment over the last 12 months and although self employment has been increasing, the majority of the growth has been seen in full time employment.
However, pay growth remains unchanged; in August, total weekly earnings were only £1 a week higher than December last year. The next step from this decrease in unemployment is to ensure people are able to develop their skills and productivity in order to enable opportunities for progression and higher incomes.