Date: Wednesday 16 Jun 2010
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell more than expected in May, but the wider unemployment rate continued to rise.
The claimant count fell by 30,900 in May, less than the 32,000 fall seen the previous month but well ahead of the 20,000 decline that had been expected.
It takes the number of jobseekers down to 1.48m, the lowest level in more than a year.
However, the jobs data was mixed, with the number of unemployed people increasing by 23,000 to 2.47m in the three months to April. And the number of people classed as 'economically inactive' - a category that includes people without work but not job-hunting - rose by 29,000 during the three months to April to 8.19m.
‘While the latest labour market data is broadly encouraging, we continue to have significant concerns about the jobs outlook, despite recently improved economic activity and the overall resilience of the labour market through the economy's travails,’ said Howard Archer, chief European & UK economist, at the analyst group IHS Global Insight.
‘This resilience of the labour market has reflected both employers and employees being flexible in trying to prevent permanent job losses, including the use of such measures as wage freezes or pay cuts, working part time, extended unpaid leave and career breaks.’
He said that further job losses are likely in the public sector as the government cuts hack on spending.
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