Unemployment falls by 55,000 as average pay grows faster than inflation

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The number of people in work has continued to rise while average earnings have grown slightly faster than inflation, official figures show.

Employment increased by 3,000 in the three months to July to 32.4 million, giving a rate of 75.5%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Regional breakdown of unemployment figures

Workers also benefited as average earnings increased by 2.6% in the year to July, up from 2.4% the previous month.

The latest consumer prices index (CPI) rate of inflation was recorded at 2.5%.

It came as unemployment fell by by 55,000 over the period to 1.36 million, giving a jobless rate of 4%.

Job vacancies, meanwhile, rose 14,000 on quarter to 833,000, a record high.

ONS head of labour market statistics David Freeman said: "With the number of people in work little changed, employment growth has weakened.

"However, the labour market remains robust, with the number of people working still at historically high levels, unemployment down on the year and a record number of vacancies

"Meanwhile, earnings have grown faster than prices for several months, especially looking at pay excluding bonuses."

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including students, those on long-term sick leave, taken early retirement, or who have given up looking for work, rose 108,000 on quarter to 8.76 million in the last three months, giving a rate of 21.2%.

The number of self employed workers decreased by 46,000 to 4.8 million.

The claimant count, which includes people on Jobseeker's Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit, rose by 8,700 to 918,800 in August, around 118,500 more than a year earlier.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said: "Since 2010 we have delivered significant growth in jobs, and in the last six months we've seen real terms wage growth.

"We haven't had a lower unemployment rate for over forty years and I'm especially proud that youth unemployment is at a record low, falling by over 45% since 2010 - opening up career opportunities for our next generation.

"In the EU we see unemployment rates over double those of the UK. This Government is transforming this country into a great working nation. Ready and prepared for the future challenges after Brexit."

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