Unemployment falls to 1975 levels

Unemployment
has fallen to its lowest level since October 1975, according to official
figures released today.

The number
of people claiming unemployment benefit fell by 12,800 last month to 950,300.

The Office
for National Statistics figures also show that there was a rise in earnings of
4.8 per cent in the year to June.

The number
of jobs in manufacturing fell by 20,000 between May and June and now stands at
3.83 million. Manufacturing jobs are down by 120,000 over the year to June.

Commenting
on the latest earnings figures, CBI chief executive Digby Jones urged the Government
to make a further cut in the interest rates.

He said, “Inflation
remains well under control. That is good news because it suggests there remains
scope for a further cut in interest rates to soften the impact of the global
slowdown.

“Employment
has risen overall but manufacturing has seen more than 120,000 job losses over
the past year. The sector is facing serious problems and there are real signs
that service sector growth is starting to come off the boil.”

www.statistics.gov.uk

By Karen
Higginbottom

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