Unemployment falls in Britain during May

Wednesday 16 July 2014 10.14
Unemployment in Britain is now at its lowest level since late 2009
Unemployment in Britain is now at its lowest level since late 2009

Britain’s new Cabinet has been given some good news on the jobs front with the latest figures showing record employment and another huge fall in the numbers out of work.

More than 30 million people are in work, an increase of almost one million over the past year, the best figures since records began in 1971.

Unemployment fell by 121,000 in the quarter to May, to 2.12 million, the lowest since the end of 2009.

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance fell by 36,300 in June to 1.04 million, the 20th consecutive monthly fall and the lowest total since 2008.

Economic inactivity, covering those looking after a relative, on long-term sick leave, or no longer looking for work, was 67,000 lower at just under 8.8 million, the lowest figure for more than a decade.

Just over 78% of men and 68% of women are in work, giving an employment rate of 73.1%.

Other figures from the country’s Office for National Statistics showed that more than 4.5 million people were self-employed, the highest since records began in 1992, after an increase of 404,000 over the past year.

Average earnings increased by 0.3% in the year to May, 0.5% down on the previous month, giving average weekly pay of £478.

The 0.3% rise was the lowest since 2009, while excluding bonuses, the figure was 0.7%, the lowest since records began in 2001.

Long-term and youth unemployment have both continued to fall. The number of jobless 16-to-24-year-olds fell by 64,000 over the latest quarter to 817,000, including 283,000 full-time students looking for part-time work.

There was also a drop in the number of people in a part-time job wanting full-time work - down by 61,000 to 1.3 million.

Job vacancies were up by 30,000 to 648,000, an increase of more than 100,000 on a year ago, but 48,000 fewer than the pre-recession peak at the start of 2008.