The number of unemployed has fallen to 2.46 million, the first decline in unemployment since the three months to May 2008, according to Government figures released today. This leaves the jobless rate at 7.8%.
There has also been an overall drop in the number of young people unemployed, which fell by 16,000 to 927,000 in the three months to November.
Although there has been a marked rise in unemployment figures among young, black people aged between 16 and 24, which has leapt 13% since the recession began.
The figures also show a larger than anticipated fall in the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance, which fell by 15,200 in December to 1.61mn.
The figures will come as a boon to Labour who are putting job guarantees at the heart of their election campaign, having already outlined a £1.5bn pledge to ensure that no 16-to-24-year old is out of work longer than six months.
The improvement however masked a marked increase in the number of people of working age who are neither working nor looking for work, with the inactivity rate rising to 21.2% in the three months to November, the highest since the three months to August 2007.
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