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Figures have shown that the UK unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in the three months to August and is now at a seven-year low.

Between June and August, the number of people out of work was 1.77 million, which is down from 79,000 people from the previous quarter. The employment rate is at its highest since records began in 1971 as the number of people in work rose by 140,000 bringing the employment rate to 73.6%.

When compared to the previous year, the amount of people working full-time jobs in the three months to August increased. 22.77 million people were working full-time, which is up 291,000.

Those working in part-time jobs have also increased as it rose by 68,000 to 8.35 million.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the UK unemployment rate was the lowest jobless rate since the second quarter of 2008.

In terms of income, workers’ total earnings including bonuses were up 3% from the year before. However this was less than expected. With bonuses excluded, growth in average weekly earnings slowed to 2.8%.

Although wage growth remains weaker than before the financial crisis, it has managed to pace faster than the Bank of England predicted earlier in the year.

Today is the day where we can promote National Work from Home Day and show the world that going to work doesn’t always have to be as stressful as you’d think. It is a day that shows the benefits of home working for individuals, businesses and the environment.

Work Wise UK celebrates its 10th annual Work Wise Week, which aims to improve work place productivity and raise awareness for the needs of both the employer and the employee.

The campaign was first launched in 2006 with the hope of making the UK one of the most progressive economies in the world. Introducing Smarter Working practices and increasing the UK’s ranking in the Developed Nations Productivity League would accomplish the mission and make working life better for those who feel it could be improved.

Smarter Working comes in a range of forms but the main key drivers that are responsible include the need to improve motivation, retaining experienced staff, supporting equal opportunities, improving productivity as well as a response to meeting recruitment difficulties.

Many employed people struggle to maintain a balance between both their work and personal commitments and so going for a day, or five, at the office can be difficult and, in turn, lower their productivity. Work Wise UK focus their attention on what makes work life a better experience and what plans can be implemented to benefit everyone.

The cultural, economic and social factors are changing the way the working world works and mobility and technology is replacing a tradition 9-5 working pattern. In this case, change is for the better because it gives employees a chance to not only have the confidence to learn new skills but also retain the skills they already have. Outdated practices are slowly becoming something of the past and businesses are increasing implementing a Smarter Working strategy.

Although zero hour contracts may be great for some, for those who are trying to earn a living and have stability in their lives, these contracts are not what they’d hoped for. For those who don’t know what zero hours contracts are, which is probably very few, it is the agreement between the employer and worker, which means they are not obliged to provide the worker with any minimum working hours. This also means that the worker does not have to accept certain hours, but how many is offered can vary from week to week.

Life on a zero hour contract can be tough for some, especially when they can’t find work elsewhere so therefore, they do not give up the little work they could be given. Other jobs may not be able to provide flexible hours and so, this may be their only option. The Labour party was particularly interested in ending exploitative zero hours contracts but considering they were not elected by the general public, workers could still have to face the dreads of minimal working life.

Ian Duncan Smith, the Conservative work and pensions secretary, said that zero hours contracts should be re-branded and called ‘flexible-hours contracts’. He disagrees with former Labour leader, Ed Miliband, and says that most people who are on this kind of contract are those who cannot guarantee hours. These are people who have caring responsibilities and people who are in education.

On the flipside of this, zero hours contracts are useful for these kinds of people as students in particular, who may need to have a job to fund their living or university fees, can work around their own schedule. However, this still does not guarantee work when they may need it and the employer does not have to give the work. Although it is a good point from the work and pensions secretary, something needs to be said for those who may not be as flexible but do still need to work at certain times.

Patrick Tatarian, a student ambassador on a zero hours contract at Kingston University said: “Zero hours contracts do have added flexibility and having flexible hours is good when you have other commitments, such as us student ambassadors. There are times where we’re too busy to work.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated that between October and December 2014, 697,000 people were employed on a zero hours contract for their main job. This was based on figures from the Labour Force Survey. All in all, this figure represents a total of 2.3% of the UK workforce. This figure is still higher than the figure of 586,000, which is 1.9% of people in employment, reported for the same period in 2013.

According to the ONS, this survey also found that employees received on average 25 hours of work per week with a third of those wanting more hours. This compared with only 10% of other people in employment. In addition, the ONS also said that the zero hours workers were, in most cases, women or in full-time education and aged under 25 or over 65.

For now it seems, zero hours contracts are to stay put in the UK and this may please or displease some people. As the economy grows there could be a chance that there would be less need for them as businesses would have more money to offer employees jobs that would have more security for them.

E-learning, the use of electronic technology to provide training and education, is becoming increasingly prevalent as a method of delivering both personal and work-based learning.

The prevalence of laptops, tablets and smartphones has made it possible for people to access learning when and where it is convenient to them – on the train or bus to work, in the office or, in Hastings, even on the cherrystone elearningbeach!

Berry Winter, Managing Director of local e-learning provider Cherrystone Ltd said: “People are starting to find that a few minutes of ‘bite-size’ learning, at a time and location which is convenient to them, can be just as beneficial as a full day’s training course.”

Many large organisations, ranging from local authorities to multi-national organisations, are now using e-learning as part of a ‘blended learning’ approach, combining online learning with traditional face to face methods. This blended approach saves money and time through utilising technology, while retaining the benefits of face-to-face contact through shorter and sharper workshops and courses.

E-learning can be easy, engaging and exciting and is a new way of learning that many can appreciate. If you are looking to learn new skills or want insight and ideas on how to handle on workplace based situations then this could be the easiest way to learn these things.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has stated that the UK should hold its EU referendum soon.

Businesses may delay making investments while there is uncertainty over the future of Britain in the EU, analysts fear. David Cameron has promised to vote on whether the UK stays in the EU by 2017. He also said that it was in everybody’s interest to resolve the uncertainty.

Investment in technology may be on the down low as companies may not be investing as much as they otherwise would do because of the wide pool of available workers.

Mr Carney said that older people willing to work and workers seeking more hours added 500,000 to the labour force over the past two years. Adding to this, migrant labour expanded the workforce but its impact was only a tenth of the size, according to the governor. He also told the BBC’s Today programme that he would reduce the argument that foreign workers were to blame for lower productivity and as the number of jobseekers falls, attention will flip to productivity.

During the global economic crisis, the UK’s level of productivity per worker fell and from this, productivity levels have taken longer to recover than expected. Inflation was 0% in March for a second month in a row, which is well below the Bank’s 2% target.

The UK might fall into deflation next month, said Carney, but inflation is expected to pick up towards the end of the year.