The number of people claiming benefits in the UK just dropped to its lowest in more than 40 years

The number of people claiming benefits in the UK has fallen to its lowest level since 1975, according to employmentfigures released by the Office for National Statistics.

Just 760,000 people claimed benefits in January, down around 14,000 from the same time in the previous month, with the figures now at 40-year lows.

While the number of benefits claimants fell, the overall unemployment rate in Britain just disappointed for the first time in a while, missing the expectations of economists.

The number of those out of work for December was flat at 5.1%, the latest employment figures released by the Office for National Statistics said.

Analysts expected the unemployment rate for December, which takes the average of that month and the two that preceded it, to come in at 5%, 0.1% lower than in November, but figures just missed.

The miss may be disappointing for the UK’s rampant employment market, but things in the last few months have still been great for UK jobseekers.

In the last couple of sets of data, October’s unemployment figure was lower than expected at just 5.2%, while September’s was better than the flat 5.4% economists had expected.

The employment story has been one of the great successes in the UK economy in recent years. So much so that the UK is more or less at full employment
— the economic term for the point when everybody in the labour market of a functioning economy is in work of some form.

The current employment rate is 74%, the highest since records began in 1971.

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