The number of people out of work fell by 132,000 in the three months to June to 2.08 million. This pushed the unemployment rate down to 6.4 per cent, according to the ONS, the lowest level since the end of 2008.
The number of people in work also continued to rise, with 820,000 more people employed compared with 12 months ago. This pushed the total up to 30.6 million. There was also an improvement for those aged between 16 and 24, with unemployment falling by 102,000 in the three months to June to 767,000, further away from the significant one million threshold. This was the largest quarterly drop in youth unemployment since comparable records began in 1992.
Mr Duncan Smith said: “Unemployment has fallen, but it has not just fallen, overall unemployment has just fallen in the fastest rate now, underneath that this is mostly full time work and we are actually seeing a fall now in temporary work and the third area that is interesting it’s that youth unemployment, youth unemployment has fallen faster now than any time for thirty years.
Wage growth suffered a collapse between April and June with average weekly earnings dropping by 0.2 per cent, the first fall in five years.
Mr Duncan Smith also said: “The fall in wages was “distorted” by the financial sector with a large number of people losing their jobs in that area acting as a “downward pressure” on wages.”