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Mixed news in unemployment figures


Wednesday June 20th 2012

New employment figures provided good news for the government in some areas, balanced by continued gloom in others.

The overall number of unemployed fell to to 2.61 million, a decrease of 51,000 in the last quarter.

But figures for those claiming jobseeker's allowance were up in May, with an increase of 8,100 bucking two months of decreases and making the total 1.6 million.

Though the jobs market is still tough, the employment rate saw its biggest rise since mid-2010 with 166,000 more people joining the overall 29.28 million in work.

Around half of the newly employed took up part-time work, joining almost eight million others. There are 1.4 million people working part-time who want to find a full-time job - and 25,000 more people joined their ranks in the last quarter.

The Office for National Statistics data also revealed that self-employment has hit a record high of 4.17 million, up by 84,000, and the number of people unemployed for more than a year rose 85,000 to 886,000.

Average private sector pay were reportedly up £5 compared to last April, to £465 a week, while overall average earnings increased by 0.5% in a month due to bonus season, and 1.4% since last year.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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