According to figures published today, unemployment fell by 82,000 between August and September.
That’s the biggest drop since 2001 and works out as a 0.2% fall in the total unemployment rate. And we get these figures while the public sector shed 24,000 jobs, which was countered by 65,000 new private sector positions!
If you take my business as a litmus test of what is happening in the private sector then firms are recruiting and working hard to grow as we created 50 jobs in the autumn.
And it gets better, with 3,000 less claiming Job Seekers Allowance, and the best part of all is that there are now 90,000 less 16-24s out of work.
As a consistent flag waver for the under 25s, I was delighted to see such a significant fall in youth unemployment.
The drop mirrors our recent activity at Pimlico Plumbers where, in the last 12 months, the company has recruited a group of 24 16-24-year-olds that are working across a variety of trade disciplines and business support roles.
In addition, we are currently recruiting a further five apprentices for its accounts, administration, call centre, HR and workshop operations.
With about 15 percent of our workforce made up by 16-24-year-olds, we are demonstrating our faith and commitment in young people.
If you take a chance on them, they will reward you with their commitment and skills that benefit our business, themselves as individuals and the wider economy.
So, instead of a bottle or Brut or a set of M&S cufflinks, the Chancellor has pulled a completely unexpected Secret Santa present out of the sack that I suspect no-one dared to hope was going to be half as welcome when it was unwrapped!
I know nobody wants to go out on a limb and report the presence of green buds or anything, for risk of blighting the whole tree, but for the economy this has got to be a billion quid boost, just in terms of the wages earned and money saved when 82,000 less people are out of work.