Politics news – latest: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt putting final touches to first full budget ahead of announcement tomorrow
We’ve had some new employment figures out this morning from the Office for National Statistics.
They showed that 220,000 days were lost to striking in January, down from 822,000 in December.
Elsewhere in the economy, unemployment remained steady at 3.7%, the same as last month and only a slight increase from a low not seen since 1974.
The rate had been expected to increase to 3.8%, economists polled by Reuters forecast.
Despite unemployment remaining low, the number of job vacancies fell for the eighth consecutive period by 51,000 to 1.1 million from December to February.
The fall reflects uncertainty across industries, as ONS respondents cited economic pressures as a factor in pausing or refraining from hiring.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who will be delivering his budget tomorrow, said: “The jobs market remains strong, but inflation remains too high.
“To help people’s wages go further, we need to stick to our plan to halve inflation this year.
“Tomorrow at the budget, I will set out how we will go further to bear down on inflation, reduce debt and grow the economy, including by helping more people back into work.”
Labour said the “Tories’ abject failure to support people back to work means there are 234,000 fewer people in employment than before the pandemic”.
Read more about the latest figures below: