People facing debt problems as a result of unemployment may be benefiting from a drop in joblessness.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) welcomed the news that the claimant count dropped by 15,000 in December, with the Office for National Statistics figures showing the figure for young people to be down by 7,600.
Work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper noted that 450,000 fewer Britons are out of work than was predicted in April.
And although the market is likely to remain difficult, she added: “The extra investment in jobs, education and training is making a real difference, helping people through the recession and preventing the kind of unemployment we saw in the 80s and 90s.”
Last week, the DWP announced a move that could help people with debt problems, as an agreement reached with six major mobile phone companies allows customers of the firms to phone its helplines from such devices for free.
By Andy Mackay