UK unemployment falls by 51,000
Published: 20th Jun 2012 11:24:54
Unemployment in the UK fell by 51,000 to 2.61 million in the three months to April, official figures have shown.
The jobless rate fell to 8.2%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
But the claimant count - the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance - increased by 8,100 in May compared with April, to 1.60 million.
The ONS said the unemployment level in the UK overall was "showing some improvement".
Most of the decrease in the headline unemployment figure was made up of men. Female unemployment fell by only 1,000.
Youth unemployment fell by 29,000 to just over one million.
The ONS added there were decreases in unemployment across all age groups, except for the over-65s.
Overall, there were 29.28 million people in work, up 166,000 on the previous quarter. That was the largest quarterly increase since August 2010.
The ONS also pointed out that whereas in previous months, the rise in employment had been led by part-time workers, this month the increase was fairly evenly spread between part-time and full-time workers.
"This time we're seeing a very healthy increase in full-time jobs and that's clearly very welcome," Employment Minister Chris Grayling said.
But he added: "Any fall in unemployment is very welcome, but I remain cautious over the next few months, given the continuing economic challenges we face."
The government must invest in jobs to get the economy growing again”
Private sector employment rose by 205,000 to 23.38 million, but the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 39,000 to 5.9 million, the lowest figure since March 2003.
"That's clearly the private sector growing faster than the public sector is changing its rate of employment, so that's clearly what we always hoped would happen and that's good news," said Mr Grayling.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said that while the latest figures were "a ray of good news", it was worrying that there were now "very clear signs of lasting and long-term damage by persistent high levels of long-term unemployment".
"What we now see is about a third of people on the dole have been on the dole for over a year, we've still got youth unemployment over a million and the number on Jobseeker's Allowance went up yet again.
"So when you take a step back and you look at those trends there are some real worrying signs about the long-term damage that is being done to the British economy from the government's failure to get people back to work fast enough."
It's crucial to get presentation for job interviews right”
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber also said the latest figures showed "some long overdue good news" in the labour market, but added there were still "real concerns" about a sustainable recovery.
"We now need to turn today's positive news into a steady fall in unemployment. The government must invest in jobs to get the economy growing again," he said.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) cited continued difficulties in the eurozone as contributing to uncertainty ahead.
"Further net increases in unemployment are still likely over the next year, but the peak will probably be lower than the 2.9 million figure predicted in our latest forecast," said David Kern, BCC chief economist.
"Businesses are keen to grow and invest, but the government needs to do more to help them create jobs."
There have been calls for the Bank of England to increase its quantiative easing programme, which injects new money into the economy which the aim of encouraging banks to lend.
Four of the Monetary Policy Committee voted to increase QE from its current level of £325bn at its meeting earlier this month, newly-released minutes show. This was just short of the majority of five needed to change policy.
What is your reaction to this story? Have you recently been unemployed and now found a job? Send us your comments and experiences using the form below.
If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.
Terms and conditions
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. UK unemployment falls by 51,000. [Online] (Updated 20 Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/1435774-UK-unemployment-falls-by-51-000 [Accessed 19th May 2013]
At 15:37:51 in OtherTwo giant Archimedes screws installed to generate renewable energy from the River Goyt in Stockport have been officially opened....
At 15:14:22 in OtherA prisoner who was missing for two months has been charged with 13 offences including indecent exposure and causing grievous bodily harm....
At 12:05:05 in OtherA teenager has died after reportedly suffering breathing difficulties at a house in central Warrington....
At 09:57:51 in OtherHundreds are expected at a Cardiff rally later on Saturday before planned strike action over school changes....
At 20:28:08 in OtherThe extradition of one of Britain's most wanted fugitives has been delayed by an investigation into separate charges by Spanish police....
At 19:01:15 in OtherA conman dubbed the "King of Marbella" and his three accomplices have been jailed over a £675,000 bank fraud....
At 18:27:17 in OtherFriends of a violin teacher found dead at home after giving evidence against a couple who sexually abused her are playing a concert in her h...
At 17:48:13 in OtherA 46-year-old man has been jailed for life for the murder of a fellow Ukrainian at a Salford flat on New Year's Day....
At 14:35:14 in OtherCoronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has pleaded not guilty to 19 sexual offences against a child....
At 13:29:31 in OtherAn engineer from Greater Manchester was unlawfully killed by his kidnappers in Nigeria minutes after a UK-led rescue operation stormed in, a...
News In Other Categories
Police in Dumfries have arrested four people for public order offences as rival demonstrations took place in the town....
The outgoing governor of the Bank of England has warned that a government plan to boost the housing market should not become permanent....
The first sighting of a tawny owl in the wild on the island of Ireland has been confirmed in County Down....
Alexei Balabanov, the Russian director whose gritty crime films caught the wildness of Russia's early post-Soviet years, has died at th...
Computers and smartphones have become a "digital dummy" used by parents to pacify their children, says a head teachers' leade...
A nine-year-old Essex boy whose father killed himself has raised £1,000 for a headstone for his dad....