Dole queues at lowest level since 1975

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The Independent Online

The rate of unemployment in the UK fell to 1.61 million people between December and February as employment hit record levels according to official figures released yesterday.

The Office for National Statistics said its most recent Labour Market Statistics showed “an increase in both the number of people in employment and the employment rate”. It added that the number of unemployed people decreased along with the inactivity rate.

The level of unemployment fell by 0.1 percentage points to 5.2 per cent in the three months to February over the previous quarter. The figures also revealed that working age employment rose 0.2 percentage points to 74.9 per cent. The employment rate, which equated to 29.51 million people, is the highest since records began in 1971.

The ONS announced that the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance fell by 1,200 to 794,300 its lowest level since June 1975. Those economically inactive fell 0.1 percentage points to 20.9 per cent or 7.87 million.

This came as the government body revealed the average earnings for the whole economy, excluding bonuses, was up 0.1 percentage points.