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Employment grows in final quarter of 2012

The employment rate grew in the final three months of last year as the UK employed more people than ever before, new figures have revealed.

Indeed, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced this morning (February 20th) that another 154,000 people were in work between October and December compared to the three months to September - an increase of 0.3 percentage points.

Similarly, the number of people out of work fell by 14,000 over the same time frame, reducing the percentage of the economically active population in unemployment to 7.8 per cent.

Small businesses are likely to be among those increasing employment as they look to expand operations across different sectors.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said that today's work figures show that the UK remains well ahead of other international countries in reducing unemployment.

"The fall in long-term unemployment is particularly welcome and shows that the training and support we are offering is helping people move off benefits and into work," he explained.

"These figures show another big increase in full-time jobs, half a million more British people in work over the past year and more women in employment than ever before.

"The UK is now ahead of many of its international rivals when it comes to cutting unemployment and creating jobs which is so important as we compete in a global race."

However, others warned that there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure the improvements are longer lasting.

Neil Carberry, Director of Employment and Skills at the Confederation of British Industry, responded to ONS' figures by saying that more needs to be done to ensure wages continue to rise too.

He added: "It is particularly good that so much of this month's jobs growth is driven by full timers, given worries about under-employment. It's also good news that jobs are being created in most regions across the country."

Employment, according to the findings, has now grown by 880,000 since the last General Election in 2010.

Posted by Thomas Fletcher

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