The Government has hailed another fall in unemployment and pay continuing to outstrip inflation, leading to a fresh clash between the main political parties over the economy.
The jobless total fell by 58,000 between September and November to a six-year low of 1.91 million, while a record 30 million people are in work, and the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell in December by 29,600 to 867,000, the 26th consecutive monthly cut.
Job vacancies have also reached a record - up by 19,000 to 700,000, said the Office for National Statistics.
Average earnings increased by 1.7 per cent in the year to November, up by 0.3 per cent on the previous month.
David Cameron said at Prime Minister’s Questions that a record number of people were in work, wages were growing ahead of inflation and disposable income was higher than any year it was under the last Labour government.
Labour leader Ed Miliband claimed the Prime Minister believed everything was “hunky dory” because those at the top were doing well, highlighting soaring executive pay, while working families were £1,600 a year worse off because of tax rises and benefit cuts.
But Mr Cameron cited the fall in unemployment, slowing inflation and the IMF praise of the British economy to claim Mr Miliband and his party were unfit to win the election in May.
Unemployment has fallen by 418,000 over the past year, although the latest quarterly reduction was the smallest since July to September 2013.