FTSE 100 advances on positive joblessness data

<p>The FTSE 100 has climbed as the ONS releases optimistic employment data.</p>

The FTSE 100 has made gains in this morning's (February 20th) trading session, as official data has revealed UK unemployment fell in the three months to December 2012.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the total number of those out of work slumped by 14,000 in the final quarter of the year to 2.5 million.

This news is coupled with the number of those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in January falling by 12,500 to 1.5 million, indicating the employment outlook for the country is improving.

Furthermore, the number of individuals in work increased by 154,000 to 29.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, which is over 580,000 more people than a year ago.

As such, the ONS said there were 29.7 million people in the UK in work, with 73 per cent enjoying full-time employment and 27 per cent on the payroll for a part-time position.

At 10:50 GMT, the FTSE 100 rose by 0.3 per cent to 6399.4 points.

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