The FTSE 100 has made tentative gains in trading this morning as official figures revealed that the total number of unemployed people in the UK has dropped to 2.49 million.
According to fresh data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), between September and November 2012 there was a fall of 37,000 jobless people, marking the lowest number of men and women searching for work since the March-May period in 2011.
The ONS also found that the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance decreased by 12,100 to 1.56 million in December, which is the smallest figure recorded since June 2011.
Workers in full-time employment increased by 113,000 in the three months to November, offsetting the decline in part-time jobs, with the total number of those earning a wage increasing to a record 29.7 million over this timeframe.
The FTSE 100 was steady at 10:25 GMT, rising by 0.1 per cent to 6189.1 points.
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