UK unemployment falls by 51,000

 

Interview tips: Comedian Neil Mullarkey on dealing with nerves

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."

Long-term trends

Start Quote

The government must invest in jobs to get the economy growing again”

End Quote Brendan Barber TUC

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."

Calls for investment

Chris Grayling, Employment Minister: "I wouldn't put too much store on this month's figures"

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.

 

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 202.

    If the government forced all the old job blockers to retire gracefully when they reach the state pension age there would be no need for any youth unemployment in this country.

    OAPs working beyond pension age = 1.41 million
    Youth Unemployment = 1.01 million

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 201.

    We should be reducing the working week and job sharing, the financial and monetary system should be adapted to cater for this. There's never going to be enough jobs for everyone to work full time for 40 years and we don't need to anyway.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 200.

    How many of these 51,000 are simply people made redundant by Government cuts six months before whose contributions-based Job Seekers Allowance has finished and they fail the test for means-tested Job Seekers Allowance? They just drop off the radar but they are still there.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 199.

    What can we believe anymore? I know from family experience that disable dpeople are being denied benfits which would make them count on the unemployed figures. Cynical, cynical, cynical....

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 198.

    I don't believe anyone seriously believes the coalition can create growth and reduce the deficit

    This government has no plan or structure for helping the private sector let alone the public. New business's cannot afford the cuts, the banks aren't loaning, and there are no grants.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 197.

    Watch next months figures rise with school leavers. The contributing factor to the figures dropping is partly due to those hitting retirement age and others who can afford it who are prepared to lower their living standards by getting out of the rat race and taking early retirement and those leaving the country. We don't see figures for these so how can the statistics mean much?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 196.

    188 and 149 Plus don't forget that some people already get paid to work "in the Community", so they'd be out of work if people were forced to do it for free. then how can one be "available for work and actively seeking work" if they are working for nothing on a slave labour 'scheme'?
    England is already ruined as far as any Enlightenment and Compassion is concerned.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 195.

    It's pretty dreadful that, with technology rendering so much menial work unnecessary, with a population that's healthier and living longer than any other time in history, and with a huge workforce standing idle, we can't seem to find anything useful for them to do!

    You wouldn't think this was a species that recently went to the Moon, would you?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 194.

    189. Kristal Tips The truth is nobody actually knows how to count Unemployment in the UK. The figures should account for everyone not in employment but successive governments have excluded and hidden numbers to make the figures look better. The work programme i think is included on the figures as they are still in receipt of JSA.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 193.

    181.Frater Ananda
    For 13 years Nu Labor said it was the Tory's fault, there's still plenty - including you - who still say it's Thatchers fault despite Nu Labor having had 13 years to right Thatchers so called wrongs and failing.

    All politicians of what ever tribe are as bad as each other, all looking for short term gain and nothing about the future. No such thing as an honest politician.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 192.

    @179

    FYI 51 000 as a % of 2 610 000 is aprox 2%

    Nice lad, thick as mince though

  • Comment number 191.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 190.

    Claimant count up, and sickness benefit claimant count up.

    More tax credit being paid than ever, because most jobs are part time.

    All going well, then?

  • rate this
    +22

    Comment number 189.

    How many temporary jobs have been created recently - security for the Jubilee, extra packers for the bunting manufacturers, staffing for the Olympics etc? Will we see a complete reversal in these figures once the Olympics is over? How many are actually in a "proper" job (ie permanent) rather than on a work programme that will, in all likelihood, not lead to a job at the end?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 188.

    "149.England is Ruined

    Anyone claiming State Benefits and fit for work should be made to work in the community to earn their benefits."

    Have you costed it? Planning work, 'recruitment', tools, insurance, vehicles, transport to where the work is, supervision, training, fuel, etc etc. If you want to pay that fine, but community work is not a cost-free, or even cheap, option.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 187.

    # 169
    No 6 is there really any need to be mcynical about today's utterly spiffing news? The figures say it all - I'll wager that Gideon has his finger well and truly on the pulse of economic opportunity.

    #171
    Tel - good spot.Although, the low pay call centre workers will never be able to afford healthcare as all their money will go on their share of the rent for the flat they can never afford.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 186.

    165. England is Ruined
    There're not working for the community, they are working for their benefits.
    +++
    If I ever have to rely on benefits and I have to work for them, Why have I being paying National Insurance for the last 32 years?

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 185.

    I think these figures have more fudge than Cadburys.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 184.

    jobless figures going down because the jobcentres putting people on the work programme so it looks good for the goverment

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 183.

    What we never know is what type of work people are getting. Is it a case of low paid remedial work with no future prospects, or are they skilled jobs that will add overall value to the country in the long term and give people a real purpose in life.

    Figures are meaninless unless they are backed with real information, but then again, ministers are only interested in numbers, not people.

 

Page 8 of 18

 

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    AIR FRANCE 10:13: Breaking News

    French national airline Air France has just announced that it is putting a halt to its low cost airline expansion plans in an attempt to end the strike by Air France pilots that has just entered its second week.

     
  2.  
    TESCO PROFITS 10:10:

    Barclays Capital analyst James Anstead says although there are few details at present as to why Tesco's profits need to be restated "there is a clear implication that Tesco's previous full year trading profit guidance of £2.4bn to £2.5bn needs to be reduced. He adds: "We cannot necessarily assume that the maximum change required is £250m."

     
  3.  
    ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT 09:57:

    An 18-year-old "whizzkid" with a love for the board game Monopoly is preparing an audacious bid to lead one of UK's largest retailers, according to the Daily Mail. Harris Aslam already sits on the board of Nisa Retail. He has apparently has told the group's chairman he intends to stand for election as its next chief executive.

     
  4.  
    TESCO PROFITS 09:46:

    Marks and Spencer's chief financial officer (CFO) Alan Stewart was announced as the new CFO of Tesco in July but he is still on gardening leave and is not due to join Tesco until December. Laurie McIlwee resigned as CFO in April but continued in post until just over a week ago. Over the last week there has been no CFO in the Tesco head office, the company has confirmed.

     
  5.  
    TESCO PROFITS 09:39:

    Tesco says it has informed the financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), about its investigation into the reporting of its profits.

     
  6.  
    TESCO PROFITS Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Tesco won't confirm my revelation that Chris Bush has stepped aside. But will confirm that Robin Terrell is now doing his job!"

     
  7.  
    TESCO PROFITS 09:31:

    Tesco chairman Richard Broadbent says the retailer's investigation is focusing on the reporting of payments made to Tesco from its suppliers. It seems to be an issue of the timing of payments, rather than a "hole" in the accounts.

     
  8.  
    TESCO PROFITS 09:18:

    Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, will not confirm that Chris Bush the managing director is one of the four executives suspended as part of its investigation into its profits reporting. He is speaking to journalists on a conference call.

     
  9.  
    MARKET UPDATE 09:16:

    Aside from Tesco the FTSE 100 index is lower by 0.66% at 6,792 just over an hour into the trading day. Tesco is perhaps unsurprisingly the biggest faller. Meanwhile, engineering firm Petrofac is the biggest riser, up 1.72% to 1066p.

     
  10.  
    TESCO SHARES 09:11:

    Tesco's share price is beginning to stabilise a little. Having fallen 11.3% on the open to 203.5p, Tesco shares are currently trading 7.99% lower at 211.25p

     
  11.  
    TESCO PROFITS 09:01: BBC Radio 4

    James Bevan, chief investment officer at CCLA Investment Management, tells Today the profit warning from Tesco could amount to falsifying accounts. "They have decided to account for profits arising in future periods in the current period, and deferred costs that otherwise should have been recognised. That's really serious."

     
  12.  
    TESCO PROFITS 08:57: Via Email

    Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, says Tesco's profit warning "does not come close to jeopardising overall profitability" at the supermarket, and the market will be happy that at least the bad news is out in the open and being dealt with.

     
  13.  
    UK ECONOMY 08:44: BBC Breakfast
    Jeremy Cook

    Breakfast's Steph McGovern is down in London in the financial district talking to Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First foreign exchange, who says we should be focusing on how strong the UK economy is following the Scottish referendum. Unemployment is down, GDP is growing - "all very very good news".

     
  14.  
    TESCO PROFITS Via Twitter

    Sean Farrell on the Guardian's City Desk tweets: "Tesco CEO Lewis: 'This is not in the ordinary course of events. This has been audited by a big reputable firm.'

     
  15.  
    HEADLINES
  16.  
    TESCO PROFITS 08:35: Radio 5 live

    Four senior Tesco executives including the UK managing director Chris Bush have been suspended, while an investigation into profits reporting is carried out, Adam Parsons says on Radio 5 live. The share price has recovered a bit but is still down more than 9%.

     
  17.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 08:21: Radio 5 live

    Shane Brennan from the Association of Convenience Stores says the minimum wage is becoming a "political football" between the main political parties, and warns a rise could hit employees negatively. "When the minimum wage goes up, small retailers cut back on the hours they offer staff," he tells Radio 5 live.

     
  18.  
    CHILD BENEFIT 08:18: Radio 5 live

    Ed Balls is talking about the minimum wage on 5 live Breakfast, but he keeps falling off the air. He was half way through explaining how the Labour party wants to extend the child benefit cap - one of those "difficult decisions" necessary to "balance the books".

     
  19.  
    TESCO SHARES 08:14:

    Tesco's shares opened down 11.3% at 203.5p - that's its lowest price since May 2003 - more than a decade ago.

     
  20.  
    TESCO SHARES 08:09: Breaking News

    Tesco's share price falls by more than 10% in the first few minutes of trading in London.

     
  21.  
    MOSS BROS PROFITS 08:04:

    Menswear retailer Moss Bros has reported a pre-tax profit of £1.95m for the six months to July. That's slightly lower than their previous guidance and reflects the number of stores that were closed for refit in the first half of this year, the company said. Like for like sales were 6.4% higher.

     
  22.  
    TESCO PROFITS Via Twitter Robert Peston Economics editor

    tweets: "Tesco! Oh my giddy aunt. Never thought it would come to this http://www.investegate.co.uk/tesco-plc--tsco-/rns/trading-update/201409220700142186S/ …

     
  23.  
    ALIBABA 07:55:
    Alibaba

    The Financial Times reports that Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce group, has boosted the value of its IPO to $25bn (£15bn) by selling extra shares. That makes it the biggest IPO in history. Huge investor demand saw the company's share price surge 38% on its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

     
  24.  
    TESCO PROFITS Via Twitter

    Richard Hunter from stockbrokers Hargreaves Lansdown tweets: "Profit warning on a profit warning for #Tesco likely to put further pressure on a share price already down 39% over the last year"

     
  25.  
    STOCK MARKET FLOAT 07:47:

    Other news from the stock market this morning: British bank Aldermore says it will float on the London Stock Exchange in October, aiming to raise £75m. Aldermore focuses on lending to small and medium-sized businesses and homeowners.

     
  26.  
    TESCO PROFITS Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Dave Lewis initiated inquiry over weekend. Am told Philip Clarke has officially left Tesco, but remains available to talk to investigation."

     
  27.  
    PHONES 4U RESCUE 07:36:
    The Phones 4U shop sign.

    Phone network EE is to buy 58 Phones 4U stores - safeguarding 359 jobs - in a deal with administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers. The phone network was known to have entered negotiations over the weekend. On Friday Vodafone agreed to take over 140 Phones 4U shops.

     
  28.  
    TESCO PROFITS Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Tesco were due to report Interims next week. That has now been cancelled."

     
  29.  
    LABOUR CONFERENCE 07:26: BBC Radio 4

    Labour shadow business secretary Chuka Umanna tells Today Labour is pro-business, but says: "What we have been clear about is we can't go back to business as usual and the kind of fast buck culture we saw in some parts of the economy that helped contribute to the 2008/09 crash."

     
  30.  
    TESCO PROFITS Via Twitter

    City grandee David Buik tweets: "It never rains but it pours dear old Tesco. It appears profits have been over-stated by £250 mn - shares could be down 5% at the opening."

     
  31.  
    TESCO PROFITS 07:15:
    A group of Tesco shopping trolleys

    "We have uncovered a serious issue and have responded accordingly," said Dave Lewis, who took over as the boss of Tesco last month. "The chairman and I have acted quickly to establish a comprehensive independent investigation. The board, my colleagues, our customers and I expect Tesco to operate with integrity and transparency and we will take decisive action as the results of the investigation become clear."

     
  32.  
    TESCO PROFITS 07:11: Breaking News

    Tesco has released a statement saying it over-stated its expected profit for the six months to 23 August. In a trading statement on 29 August it said it expected half-year profits to be £1.1bn. It has now revised this down by £250m.

     
  33.  
    LISTEN AGAIN Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: The #WUTM podcast. All yours: bbc.co.uk/podcasts/serie…

     
  34.  
    AIR FRANCE 07:03:
    Air France planes

    Pilots at Air France are looking ahead to a second week on strike this morning. France's transport minister Alain Vidalies says the fate of Air France is at stake in the dispute. Pilots are angry that the airline is expanding its budget carrier, which pays pilots less.

     
  35.  
    LABOUR ANTI-BUSINESS? 06:55: BBC Radio 4

    Lord Jones tells Today that Labour has not given business the credit it deserves. "Without the wealth that business creates you have no public sector, you have no taxation, you don't have one job in the country. That's how important business is," he says.

     
  36.  
    LABOUR ANTI-BUSINESS? 06:51: BBC Radio 4
    Digby Jones

    Lord Digby Jones, former head of the CBI and member of the last Labour government tells Today that Labour is casting doubt on its support for the UK business community. "Whatever the current shadow cabinet say - let's nationalise the banks, let's have a social market in energy, lets increase business taxes, whatever it may be - they are showing by their actions that they actually don't get it," he says.

     
  37.  
    DEVOLUTION 06:42: Radio 5 live

    Wake Up to Money has been discussing the prospects for more devolution across the UK in the wake of the "No" vote in Scotland. Tony Travers from the London School of Economics says the UK is one of the most centralised democracies in the world - 95% of tax revenues go straight to the exchequer.

     
  38.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 06:35: BBC Radio 4

    Is Labour leader Ed Miliband's pledge to raise the minimum wage to £8 per hour by 2020 anti-business?Simon Walker, head of the Institute of Directors, tells the Today programme he shares many of the Labour party's concerns - on energy prices, zero-hours contracts and wages. "But... we don't agree with Labour's instinct to legislate or regulate on these matters," he says.

     
  39.  
    MARKETS 06:29: BBC Breakfast
    Breakfast

    Breakfast's Steph McGovern is in the City in London before dawn this morning, talking to analysts and market traders about what's moving the markets after the "No" vote in Scotland last week. She'll be talking to a currency trader later to find out what's going to happen to the pound.

     
  40.  
    MINIMUM WAGE 06:18:

    Labour's leader Ed Miliband says Labour will put the minimum wage up to £8 an hour if they win the election next year - up from the £6.50 is due to rise to this October. The unions say that's not enough, and want £10 an hour, while the CBI warns any rise will "put jobs at risk".

     
  41.  
    LABOUR CONFERENCE 06:12:
    Labour shadow  chancellor Ed Balls

    Ed Balls is expected to say that Labour will reinstate the 50 top rate of tax in his speech to the party conference later today. That's not necessarily news. But Labour haven't been completely clear on whether they would reinstate the 50p tax band until now. The inclusion of the proposal essentially amounts to an election promise eight months out from the general election.

     
  42.  
    Phones 4U 06:02: Radio 5 live

    EE has confirmed it's looking into buy a few of those Phones 4 U shops now on the market. Judy Palmer from Begbies Traynor defends EE and Vodafone, the operators accused of helping to put the mobile retailer out of business, on Wake Up to Money calling their actions "commercial hardball".

     
  43.  
    06:01: Edwin Lane Business reporter, BBC News

    Hello all. We're also getting the latest on the fate of Phones 4U, after it went into administration last week. Get in touch with us on bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweet us @BBCBusiness.

     
  44.  
    0600: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning folks. We start the day with news that luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo is looking at a stock market float in London, there are also half year results from Moss Bros. The Labour party conference goes into its second full day with a speech from shadow chancellor Ed Balls. It's his last conference speech before the election so we'll bring you any nuggets from that too. Stay with us.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.