The latest labour market figures published on 21 January are remarkably positive with an unexpectedly large rise in employment in the month and the quarter.
The employment rate has risen by 0.5 percentage points over the quarter, to 76.3%.
Vacancies (in the Office for National Statistics survey of the whole economy) rose this month, to 805,000. As the number of vacancies is quite volatile, and frequently revised, the Office for National Statistics uses a three-month average.
The latest unemployment figure is 1,306,000. It has increased by 26,000 from the figure published last month. The unemployment rate stayed at 3.8%.
The survey figures (showing those looking after family) continued to fall while benefit measures had fallen earlier.
The benefit figures include lone parents remaining on Income Support as lone parents and Universal Credit claimants in the planning for work group. The latest DWP data does not show any still on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
This chart shows claimants of out of work benefits as lone parents (the orange dots) and survey figures for all those who are economically inactive looking after family (including couple families).