UK unemployment continues to fall

<p>ONS figures revealed that UK unemployment is now down to 1.86 million.</p>

Unemployment rates continue to fall in the UK, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that in the three months leading up to January, the number of people out of work fell by 102,000 to 1.86 million. The nation's unemployment rate remains at 5.7 per cent, but the amount of people currently working has hit an all-time high. The latter has also been helped by a 1.8 per cent rise in average earnings, including bonuses.

It was not just unemployment rates that continued to fall as the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance was down to 791,200, the lowest level since 2008. The announcement provided a timely boost ahead of chancellor George Osborne delivering his final Budget prior to the general election.

However, despite the positive unemployment figures, youth unemployment remained a troubling issue. The ONS noted that the jobless rate for 16 to 24-year-olds fell by just 12,000 during the three months to January resulting in 743,000 youths unemployed.

Mr Osborne was upbeat over the figures and said: "This good news is further proof that the government's long-term economic plan is working and that British families are seeing the results, with regular wages rising more than five times faster than prices."

The Budget

The chancellor unveiled the Budget at the House of Commons on Wednesday (March 18th) stating that the UK was "walking tall" when it came to economic recovery. Mr Osborne stated that in 2014 the nation grew 2.6 per cent, faster than any other advanced economy, but dipped below the expected three per cent in December.

Other key factors was that borrowing is due to fall from £90.2 billion in 2014/15 to £75.3 billion in 2015/16 and then eventually to a £5.2 billion surplus in 2018/19.

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