David Cameron’s new Cabinet has been given some good economic news with a large fall in the numbers out of work.
More than 30 million people are in work, an increase of almost one million over the past year, the best figures since records began in 1971.
Unemployment fell by 121,000 in the quarter to May, to 2.12 million, the lowest since the end of 2009. The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell by 36,300 in June to 1.04 million, the 20th consecutive monthly fall and the lowest total since 2008.
Economic inactivity, covering those looking after a relative, on long-term sick leave, or no longer looking for work, was 67,000 lower at just under 8.8 million, the lowest figure for more than a decade.
Just over 78 per cent of men and 68 per cent of women are in work, giving an employment rate of 73.1 per cent.
Other figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that more than 4.5 million people were self-employed, the highest since records began in 1992, after an increase of 404,000 over the past year. Average earnings increased by 0.3 per cent in the year to May, 0.5 per cent down on the previous month, giving average weekly pay of £478.