UK unemployment falls by 5000
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK unemployment has fallen by 5,000
Published data shows that 2.51 million people were out of work in the three months to April. The jobless rate was unchanged from three months earlier, at 7.8%.
Average earnings in the period were 1.3% up on a year earlier, due mainly to a rise in April bonus payments.
Despite the lift from higher bonuses, the 1.3% jump in total earnings in the three months to April was still well below the rate of inflation which stands at 2.4%.
That means that the real purchasing power of wage earners continued to be eroded.
Private sector job creation continued to more than outweigh losses in the public sector,
The number of employed people over 65 has reached more than a million; the highest since records began in 1971, with almost one in ten of the over-65s are in work.
The ONS data showed that public sector employment has fallen by 22,000 to around 5.7 million, the lowest figure since 2001.
However, long-term unemployment has increased particularly amongst younger job seekers, with those out of work and seeking a job for over a year rising by 11,000 in April to almost 898,000.