Unemployment falls

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Unemployment fell in the three months to December, while the number in work also jumped.

The jobless total fell by 14,000 between October and December to 2.5 million, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The number in work rose by 154,000 to 29.7 million. More than 580,000 more people are employed than a year ago.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in January fell by 12,500 to 1.54 million.   Overall, the ONS said there were 29.73 million people in the UK in employment, of which 73% were working full-time and 27% were working part-time.   I

In the three months to December, the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% – down from 7.9% in the previous quarter.

The figures also show how much the UK economy has been transformed since the financial crisis and its subsequent recession in 2008.

The ONS said that between October to December 2012, full-time employment was 378,000 lower than in the April-to-June quarter in 2008, the first quarter of the recession. But part-time employment was 572,000 higher compared with the same period.

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