By Max Clarke

Numbers of unemployed in the UK dropped by 0.3%, or 88.000 people, to reach 2.43 million- the largest quarterly decline in over a decade.

The fall marks the second consecutive drop in unemployment, bringing the total down from its 2.53 million high reached earlier this year.

Much of this drop was in youth unemployment. As a reported 1 in 5 graduates was out of work, numbers of unemployed 16-24 year-olds was increasing, pushing closer to a landmark 1 million. Over the last quarter, 79,000 unemployed youths found jobs, bringing their numbers down below 900,000- the lowest point since 2009.

"Today's unemployment figures are a welcome tonic to the raft of recent poor economic data. The significant fall in youth unemployment is encouraging," said Trades Union Congress Chief, Brenden Barber.

"But with 820,000 more people out of work now than they were before the recession the labour market is still a long way off a return to full fitness."

Experts, notably British Chambers of Commerce’ Chief Economist, David Kern, had expected the figure to continue to grow. Public sector cuts and a constrained retail sector were expected to see unemployment peak at 2.65 million later this year, before falling back in 2012.

As the public sector continues to shed jobs, the UK still faces significant challenges in overcoming high unemployment, particularly in the North where public sector dependency is higher and job creation lower.

Said Barber: "The recent jobs growth is not being shared evenly around the country. Employment rates are still falling throughout northern England and there are still around 30 dole claimants chasing every vacancy in parts of Scotland and London."

Numbers of Jobseekers allowance claimants, however, have climbed by 20,000 since April while numbers of people economically inactive for more than 24 months also grew.

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