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Number working in UK hits high

Wednesday December 12th 2012

The number of people in work in the UK has hit its highest level since records began more than 40 years ago.

The rise to 29.6 million - 500,000 more than this time last year - follows the biggest quarterly drop in the jobless total for more than 10 years.

Unemployment fell 82,000 to 2.51 million during the three months to October, giving a jobless total 128,000 lower than it was 12 months ago, according to the Office for National Statistics(ONS). That takes the number in work to its highest level since 1971. And November saw a fall in the number seeking jobseeker's allowance to 1.58 million.

The ONS data also confirms changing trends in employment patterns with more people working in the private sector and less in the public sector.

Employment in the private sector saw a record quarterly rise of 65,000, taking the total to 23.8 million. But public sector employment dropped for the 12th quarter running, falling 24,000 to 5.7 million, its lowest level for a decade. The numbers working in the civil service and local government are now at record lows of 455,000 and 2.5 million respectively, the ONS figures show.

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