The number of people without jobs in the UK fell to reach 2.58million in the three months leading to May, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 20/07/2012
The unemployment rate stands at 8.1% of the economically active population, down 0.2% on the quarter.
The increase in employment is being put down to the Olympic Games which begin on Friday 27 July. As a result, the jobs seem to be concentrated in London.
The ONS made the link to the Games after the capital registered 61,000 more people in employment over the period.
Unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds also fell by 10,000 to 1.02 million, while average total earnings were 1.5% higher in the year up to May, the ONS said.
Despite positive movements in the labour market, the employment minister, Chris Grayling, suggested that unemployment was ‘still much too high’.
‘But, I’m at least encouraged, in what are difficult times economically, that we’re seeing improvements across the board,’ said Mr Grayling.
Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight said, ‘It is evident that restrained earnings growth as well as significant increases in part-time jobs and self-employment is helping to keep unemployment down.’
‘In addition, the imminent holding of the Olympic Games is currently providing a boost to employment,’ added Mr Archer.
This is the fourth consecutive month that the unemployment figures have declined.
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