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Unemployment down

Unemployment down
Unemployment fell by 82,000 to 2.51m in the three months to October, the largest quarterly fall for a decade, new figures show.

Youth unemployment was also down 72,000 to 945,000, the Office for National Statistics has said.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban said there were "good signs" of a "strong labour market", but warned the country still faces tough economic challenges.

"This is a good set of figures. Not only have we seen the overall number of people out of work fall, there are more people in work. We’ve seen a reduction in the number of young people, excluding students, who are unemployed, the lowest figure now since early 2009," he told Sky News.

Labour has welcomed the figures, but cautioned that the labour market was "not out of the woods" yet. Liam Byrne said that falling real-terms wages, high long-term unemployment, and a slowdown in new job creation reflected a "sense of fragility" in the employment market.

The Shadow Work and Pensions also renewed his attack on the Government's plans to limit welfare increases to 1% over the next three years.

“What today’s figures really show is that Britain’s strivers are under more pressure now than ever, which is why it is absolutely wrong to be taking another whack out of families' tax credits with the proposed strivers tax.”

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance also fell by 3,000 between October and November, following rises in the previous two months.

Green Box: Unemployment downClick to open

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