The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced in mid-June that UK unemployment had dropped by 51,000 to 2.61 million in the three months to April. This leaves the jobless rate at 8.2%.
Of this 51,000 the majority were male, as female unemployment only dropped by 1,000, but there were decreases of unemployment across all age groups (other than the over-65’s), with youth unemployment finally falling by 29,000. However, this group still represent just over 1 million people.
Employment in the private sector increased by 205,000 to 23.38 million, whilst employment in the public sector fell by 39,000 to 5.9 million. This last figure represents the lowest number since March 2003. In total there were 29.28 million in employment, which is an increase of 166,000 on the last quarter.
Their accompanying report stated that overall the UK unemployment level was “showing some improvement.” This is despite the fact that the number of those claiming Jobseeker’s
Allowance increased in May by 8,100, which makes a total of 1.6 million people.
They went on to say that whilst in previous months any increase in employment was due to part-time workers, this month’s figures saw an averaging out across part-time and full-time workers.
Chris Grayling, the Employment Minister commenting on these
figures stated: “This time we are seeing a very healthy increase in full-time jobs and that’s clearly very welcome…”Any fall in unemployment is very welcome, but I remain cautious over the next few months, given the continuing economic challenges we face.”
At the same time Brendan Barber, the TUC’s General Secretary said: “some long overdue good news.” But he went on to add that he still had “real concerns” over the sustainability of the recovery