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Unemployment Falls

UK unemployment fell by 154,000 in the three months to the end of August to 1.97 million, official figures show.

The drop took the unemployment rate to 6%, its lowest level since late 2008, the Office for National Statistics said.

Over the year the number of unemployed people fell by 538,000, the largest annual fall since records began.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in September fell by 18,600 to 951,900.

The drop marks the 23rd consecutive monthly reduction.

Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings in the June to August period rose by 0.9% from a year earlier. Including bonuses, earnings rose by 0.7%.

In total, there are now a record 30.76 million people in work.

However, the number of people classed as economically inactive, including students, long-term sick and those retiring early, increased by 113,000 in the quarter to more than nine million.

The number of self-employed people dropped by 76,000 in the latest three-month period to 4.5 million, but the total is 279,000 higher than a year ago.

And the number of employees in part-time jobs has reached a record high of 6.8 million.

Youth unemployment - covering 16-to-24-year-olds - fell by 88,000 over the quarter to 733,000, giving a jobless rate among the age group of 16%.


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