The Government has announced an extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme...read more
Unemployment fell to 5.5% in the three months to March, according to the Office for National Statistics.
It says the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work was 73.5%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971. There were 35,000 fewer people unemployed, although the fall in the unemployment rate was the smallest quarterly reduction since 2013.
The number of people who were not seeking work, such as stay at home parents, was down on October to December, but little changed compared to the previous year.
Pay increased by 1.9%, including bonuses, and by 2.2% excluding bonuses.
The ONS says men were more likely to be in work than women. 78.4% of men and 68.6% of women aged from 16 to 64 were in work. The employment rate for women was the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971, partly due to ongoing changes to the state pension age for women resulting in fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65.
The number of men working full-time increased by 293,000 to reach 14.38 million and the number of men working part-time was little changed at 2.19 million. Meanwhile, the number of women working full-time increased by 162,000 to reach 8.35 million while the number of women working part-time increased by 111,000 to reach 6.18 million.
The increase in employment was down to more people having jobs, rather than self employment, which fell. The number of employees increased by 655,000 to reach 26.37 million while the number of self-employed people fell by 67,000 to reach 4.50 million.