Unemployment levels in the United Kingdom fell yet again as it dropped to under 2 million in the three months to November 2014, putting it at the lowest level it has been at in six years.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the total number of people in work now stands at 30.8 million people with the unemployment levels of the adult working population at just 5.8% falling by 58,000 to just 1.91 million.
In the same period, wage growth has also continued to outpace inflation with average earnings excluding bonuses were up 1.8% from the same point last year and including bonuses they rose 1.7%. November was the second consecutive month that both measures of earnings growth have been above the inflation rate.
On the back of a 26th consecutive monthly fall in people claiming jobseekers allowance, the figure fell in December by 9,700 to 867,000. David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said of these latest figures:
“The modest upturn in average earnings growth is a positive development. However, wage growth will only be sustainable if it is matched by increased productivity. The focus of economic policy must remain on sustaining and improving economic growth.”
And his sentiments were echoed by Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Global Insight, when he said:
“We expect unemployment to fall appreciably further during 2015, but likely at a modestly reduced rate compared to the overall drop seen in 2014.”
With Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith also adding:
“We now have unemployment falling below 6% for the first time, which is a really, really important moment to mark. Jobs are being created and salaries are rising, meaning that increasing numbers of people are feeling the security and hope for the future.”
With unemployment falling, wages growing and the economy also on the rise, the United Kingdom looks to be in for a sustained period of decent growth. Recent slowdowns of major trading partners economies, such as the European Union and China, have put the dampeners on things a little bit but a rise in domestic sales and a fall in the cost of oil seems to have offered a relative level of insulation to the country which has seen major investment from many outside sources along with the government.