The number of people out of work in the UK has fallen by 77,000 to a five-year low of 2.24m in the three months to February, official figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate.
It is the first time since the recession that unemployment has fallen below 7%, it now stands at 6.9% of the adult working population. Over 30 million people are in work; this remains at the highest level in a generation.
Average earnings in the three months to February grew 1.7% compared with a year earlier. It comes as inflation was recorded to have fallen to 1.6% in March.
It is the first time since the spring of 2010 that the increase in average wages has exceeded the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation.
Joe Grice, chief economic adviser at the ONS, said: “These figures – rising employment and falling unemployment and inactivity – continue the strong trend in the labour market that has been seen in recent months. Self-employment has again been a prominent growth area.”
To read the full Labour Market Statistics, April 2014 report please visit: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/april-2014/statistical-bulletin.html