Unemployment in the UK has fallen again

The percentage of the UK labour force that is willing but unable to work is now 5.5 per cent

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UK unemployment fell 43,000 from February to April, leaving 1.81 people unemployed, according to figures released today by the Office of National Statistics.

The percentage of the UK labour force that is willing but unable to work is now 5.5 per cent, lower than the previous three month to January (5.7 per cent) and lower than a year earlier (6.6 per cent).

Meanwhile wages grew by 2.7 per cent compared to the same three months last year at the same time as consumer prices fell 1.1 per cent, which should make goods feel more affordable.

The average pay in the UK is now £462 a week. Analysts at BNP Paribas, a French investment bank, said the pick up in wage growth figures for April is ‘baked in’. Positive employment figures may signal inflation pressure will rise in the second half of the year towards the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target, when it will look at raising interest rates.

The employment rate, which shows the percentage of the population aged 16-64 in the UK that is in work, was up to 73.4 per cent, up 0.1 per cent on the three months to January and up from 72.7 per cent a year earlier.

In May 2015, there were 791,800 people claiming unemployment related benefits, down 6500 from April 2015 and down 290,000 from a year earlier. The number of people claiming unemployment benefit has now fallen for 31 consecutive months.

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