UK unemployment drops by 57,000

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Unemployment in the UK fell by 57,000 in the three months to the end of May, data from Office for National Statistics shows.

The latest figures mean that 2.51m people are without a job in the UK, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 7.8 per cent.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance during June dropped by 21,200 to 1.48m, which is the fastest fall in three years.

Meanwhile, employment was up by 16,000 over the three-month period.

IHS Global Insight chief UK and European economist Howard Archer says: ”This is a decent set of data overall, indicating that the labour market is benefiting from the apparent pick-up in economic activity during the second quarter and improving business confidence.

“Rising employment in turn is supportive to growth prospects over the second half of the year.”

However, Archer notes that underlying earnings growth ”remains muted” and says consumer spending growth is likely to be restrained in the near term, given the 2.9 per cent rise in consumer prices inflation.