London Olympics may have helped unemployment to fall
Unemployment has declined for a fourth successive month to its lowest level since last summer, to 2.58m people in the three months to May, with indications that employment has been given a boost by the London Olympics.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1% in the period down from 8.3% in the previous quarter, according to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), which says there is “some limited evidence” of an Olympics effect in the figures, since 50,000 of the 65,000 drop in unemployment occurred in London.
The number of full-time workers increased by 133,000 to reach 21.4m and the number of part-time workers increased by 48,000 to reach 7.99m.
Commenting on the figures, minister for employment Chris Grayling says: “This is an encouraging set of figures in what is still an incredibly difficult economic climate. Not only is unemployment falling but in overall terms there are now almost 100,000 less people on benefits since the 2010 election. We still have a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction.”
Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) director of policy and professional services Tom Hadley says: “Today’s figures are good news and are further evidence that it is possible for the private sector to compensate for public sector job losses. However, we still need to be cautious. Tens of thousands of university, school and college leavers will be entering the job market over the summer and our latest data from recruiters shows hiring activity is slowing.”
Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills, says: “Despite the challenging economic times, the British labour market is showing some resilience, with jobs being created and fewer people unemployed.