Unemployment falls by 29,000 in three months to November

Unemployment fell by 29,000 in the three months to November 2006, according to the Office of National Statistics.

The unemployment rate was down 0.1 percentage points to 5.5% over the last quarter, up 0.4 percentage points from the same time last year.

Unemployment increased by 139,000 over the year, to reach 1.67 million, the report found.  

The number of jobs increased by 54,000 over the quarter, and by 292,000 over the year to reach 31.12 million in September 2006, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1959.

The number of people in employment for the three months ending in November 2006 was 29.03 million, up 14,000 over the quarter and up 274,000 over the year. This is the highest figure since comparable records began in 1971.

For people of working age, the employment rate was 74.6% for the three months ending in November 2006, down 0.1 points over the quarter but unchanged over the year.

Total hours worked per week were 925.6 million, down 4.3 million over the quarter but up 3.6 million over the year.

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