Record numbers not looking for work due to long-term illness

The number of people not looking for work because they are suffering from a long-term illness has hit a record high, latest official figures show.

The fall in the number looking for work has helped to push the unemployment rate to its lowest for nearly 50 years.

The jobless rate fell to 3.5% in the three months to August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The number of job vacancies fell again, although the level still remains high with many firms struggling to recruit.

However, the squeeze on pay remains, with rises in regular wages failing to keep up with the rising cost of living.

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ONS head of labour market and household statistics David Freeman said the number of people neither working nor looking for work had continued to rise over the past few months.

The economic inactivity rate – which measures the proportion of people aged between 16 and 64 not looking for work – increased to 21.7% in the June to August period, the ONS said….

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This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk