Unemployment falls by 88,000

UK unemployment fell by 88,000 in the three months to April this year, to 2.43 million, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics shows.

The unemployment rate was 7.7%, down 0.3% on the quarter.

This is the largest quarterly fall in unemployment since the three months to August 2000.

The number of people unemployed for up to 12 months fell by 72,000 over the quarter to reach 1.60 million.

While the number of people unemployed for over 12 months fell by 16,000 to reach 829,000, but the number of people unemployed for over 24 months increased by 39,000 to reach 385,000.

The quarterly fall in unemployment occurred mainly among people aged from 16 to 24. The number of unemployed people in this age group fell by 79,000 over the quarter to reach 895,000, the lowest figure since the three months to April 2009.

But there were 1.49 million people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in May 2011, up 19,600 on April. The number of men claiming JSA increased by 11,100 to reach 1.01 million and the number of women claimants increased by 8,500 to reach 483,700, the highest figure since September 1996.