Jobless total down for fourth month
Filed under: Career
The jobless total fell by 65,000 to 2.58 million in the quarter to May, the lowest for almost a year, while the number of people in employment increased by 181,000 to just under 30 million, the highest for almost four years.
The Office for National Statistics said the increase among women was likely to have been affected by a change in eligibility rules for lone parent income support from May.
Long-term unemployment has also increased, with those out of work for more than two years up by 18,000 to 441,000, the worst figure since 1997.
The number jobless for more than a year rose by 3,000 to 885,000, while there were just over a million unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds, down 10,000 on the three months to February. Most age groups showed increases in employment, with a rise of 52,000 in over-65s in work to reach 929,000, the highest since records began in 1992.
The unemployment rate is now 8.1%, down by 0.2 percentage points, although the jobless total is 132,000 higher than a year ago.
Other figures showed that those classed as economically inactive, including people looking after a relative, on early retirement or who have given up looking for work, fell by 61,000 to 9.2 million, mainly due to a cut of 82,000 among students.
The biggest falls in unemployment, and increase in work, were in London, suggesting that the Olympic Games is having an impact on the figures.
The number of vacancies increased by 10,000 in the quarter to June to 471,000. Average earnings increased by 1.5% in the year to May, up by 0.1 percentage points on the previous month, giving an average weekly wage of £468.
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