Job market in the UK: Case studies

A man walks past a job centre sign Image copyright PA
Image caption Unemployment has fallen - but what is the market like for job hunters?

UK unemployment fell by 167,000 in the three months to November and more than 30 million people are now employed, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures suggest unemployment had dropped to 7.1% - just above the 7% level at which the Bank of England has said it will consider increasing interest rates.

But what is the employment market like for those looking for jobs?

Here the BBC hears from some of them:

Bryony Wilson, London

Image copyright Bryony Wilson
Image caption Bryony Wilson has recently found a job in fashion PR

I studied fashion journalism at UCA in Epsom and graduated in June 2013. I wanted to do something to do with my course but it was quite hard.

There were lots of internships but I was trying to find retail jobs because I wanted to get something under my belt and obviously it's difficult leaving university because you don't have any money.

I got an unpaid internship doing fashion PR at Girl Meets Dress in London at the end of July. My parents helped me with money and I lived at my aunt and uncle's rent-free.

I got a job at Girl Meets Dress and started on 6 January. I was incredibly relieved. I was really worried that I was going to be living off my parents' money for a while.

I'm incredibly lucky that I have found this job, especially in a field I wanted to get into.

The majority of my friends who have graduated work in pubs - lots of people can't afford to get into the field that they want to because they can't afford to intern for free.

Mark Rumley, Canterbury, Kent

I have been unemployed for almost six months. I'm claiming jobseeker's allowance. I was living and working in Japan and have a master's degree in business and management.

I'm applying for every job under the sun. I'm not too fussy, I just want to work. I'm looking for business roles.

I spend each morning looking for jobs and hand out CVs in the afternoon.

Tomorrow I actually have an interview for a retail job. You know it's going to be minimum wage.

I personally don't think enough jobs are being created. During my job search I constantly see the same vacancies advertised again and again by recruitment companies.

Due to this situation I think I'll probably head back to Japan.

A lot of companies want people on the cheap. As soon as you ask for a fairly decent wage you're out-pricing yourself.

Luke Bowes, Grays, Essex

Image copyright Luke Bowes
Image caption Luke Bowes works part-time but is still searching for full-time employment

I struggled to find full-time work after I finished my degree, mainly due to a lack of experience.

Most jobs in my related degree - the arts - are either volunteer or no-pay/expenses-only internships, which led to me signing on to jobseeker's allowance.

Fortunately I was able to secure a part-time job a few months ago at my local Sainsbury's, which allowed me to sign off jobseeker's allowance.

Whilst not my chosen career path, it has enabled me to start work freelance to help develop my skills and hopefully secure a full-time job or a regular flow of freelance work in the future.

Graham Bickford, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

I worked for the Royal Mail for three weeks in December as a temporary job to cover the Christmas period.

Now unemployed. Previously I've worked for the NHS and was made redundant in March 2013.

I'm getting by on redundancy money, but basically I've had to live on my savings and jobseeker's allowance.

I've tried to get an accountancy job via agencies and websites with no success, although I'm a qualified accountant.

I'm applying for seven jobs a day. There isn't very much: There are 20 to 30 jobs in Essex and in London there are 100 jobs. I'm considering working in a shop.

No, I'm not confident in the UK job market.