UK unemployment rate falls again
UK unemployment fell to 2.63 million between January and March according to the official figures provided by the Office for National statistics.
The unexpected decline by 45,000 is the largest quarterly drop for more than a year making the British unemployment at its lowest since last summer. The jobless rate fell from 8.4% to 8.2%.
Youth unemployment also fell by 17,000 to 1.02 million while the number of people claiming seekers allowance saw a decrease of 13,700, making the new figure stand at 1.59 million.
Chris Grayling, the employment minister, commented on the situation stating it as a “step in the right direction”.
He said: “For a number of months now, employment has been growing and this is starting to feed through into improving unemployment figures. However, we still face significant international uncertainty, so we need to hold firm on our current economic strategy and continue to do everything we can to ensure unemployment continues to fall.”
Despite the fall in unemployment, the number of people unemployed for more than a year increased by 27,000 making it 887,000, the worst total since 1996.
Part-time workers were also on the rise as the ONS revealed the total number was 7.99 million in the first three months, up 118,000 from the final three months of 2011. Meanwhile, the number of full time workers fell by 13,000.
The number of people working part-time because they couldn’t find a full time job reached 1.42 million, the highest since records began in 1992.
However, the ONS data revealed the squeeze on household incomes with average pay including bonuses rising to just 0.6%, the lowest growth in three years.