The number of people claiming benefits in the UK has fallen to another record low, according to
employment figures released by the Office for National Statistics
Just 716,000 people claimed benefits in January, down 18,000 from the same time in the previous month, with the figures now at more than 40-year lows.
The figures also represent a massive beat on the expectations of economists, who had expected claims to fall by half the actual number, and drop by just 9,100.
Pay growth in the UK also beat expectations, with average earnings rising 2.2% in January, better than the 2.1% expected.
Elsewhere, the UK’s unemployment rate stayed flat for the third consecutive month, meeting the expectations of analysts, who expected the rate, which takes the average of that month and the two that preceded it, to come in at 5.1%, the same as December
The last few years have been great for UK jobseekers. Unemployment has fallen from 8% to just over 5% in just three years, and employment has soared.
The UK is now more or less at full employment — the economic term for where everyone who wants to get a job in a functioning economy has one.
The current employment rate is 74%, the highest since records began in 1971.