By Daniel Hunter

The labour market is showing real signs of stabilisation despite the continuing tough economic climate.

New figures published by the Office for National Statistics today (Wednesday) show another rise in employment, up 53,000 to 29.172m (ILO measure). This is coupled with a fall in unemployment of 35,000 on the quarter, to 2.65 million. This is despite the fact there are more people in the labour market, with a fall in inactivity of 25,000.

Today’s figures also show a better picture on youth unemployment. The number of 16 to 24-year-olds who have left full-time education and are seeking work is 719,000, down 11,000 on the quarter, while the number of full-time students looking for a job is 315,000.

Jobseeker’s Allowance is up 3,600 this month to 1.61 million. However, as this includes the effect of welfare reforms that are moving more people onto JSA from other benefits, the underlying trend remains broadly flat.

"Today’s figures are a step in the right direction but we still have a long way to go," Employment Minister Chris Grayling said.

"We are pushing ahead with our strategy to promote investment and new jobs in the private sector and support people currently without work to take up those jobs. I am particularly encouraged that overall employment is now growing despite reductions in the public sector."

There are still economic challenges ahead and the government is reacting by helping people to find employment through initiatives with the private sector at their heart.

In the past month 160,000 incentives of £2,275 have become available to employers who take on young people in the Work Programme as part of the £1billion Youth Contract.

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