Unemployment rate down

The
unemployment rate has dropped in the past year, according to National Statistic
figures.

Using
the International Labour Organisation’s definition, which includes those out of
work but not claiming benefit, the unemployment rate from November 2001 to
January 2002 was 5.1 per cent. This is the same as the previous three months,
but down 0.1 per cent from a year earlier.

The
number of people out of work and claiming benefit fell by 5,000 last month, to
947,200.

National
Statistics also said average earnings increased by 2.7 per cent in the year to
January, down by 0.7 per cent from December.

By Quentin Reade

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