The UK unemployment level fell by 161,000 to 2.16m
in the three months to April, bringing the
unemployment rate down to 6.6%. Meanwhile UK employment rose again at a record
pace in the three months to April but average earnings growth fell substantially
The quarterly rate of earnings growth, including bonuses, slowed to 0.7% from
1.9% the previous month, mainly reflecting bonus payments. The Office for
National Statistics (ONS) said that excluding bonuses, pay rose by 0.9%.
The Office for National Statistics said that
there were 30.54m
people in work, 345,000 more than for November 2013 to January 2014 and
780,000 more than a year earlier.
72.9% of people aged from 16 to 64 were in work,
up from 72.3% for November 2013 to January 2014 and up from 71.5% a year
earlier. The latest figure of 72.9%, for February to April 2014, is 0.1
percentage point lower than before the downturn of 2008-09;
- There were 2.16m unemployed people, 161,000
fewer than for November 2013 to January 2014 and 347,000 fewer than a year
- The unemployment rate was 6.6% of the
economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and
available to work), down from 7.2% for November 2013 to January 2014 and
down from 7.8% a year earlier;
- There were 8.82m economically inactive
people (those out of work but not seeking or available to work) aged from 16
to 64. This was 80,000 fewer than for November 2013 to January 2014 and
178,000 fewer than a year earlier;
- 21.8% of people aged from 16 to 64 were
economically inactive, down from 22.1% for November 2013 to January 2014 and
down from 22.4% for a year earlier. The latest figure of 21.8%, for February
to April 2014, is the lowest since 1990;
- Pay including bonuses for employees in Great
Britain for February to April 2014 was 0.7% higher than a year earlier, with
pay excluding bonuses 0.9% higher.
The inflation rate in the UK is at 1.8%, meaning wages
rising at 0.7% in 12 months, are
increasing at a slower rate than prices.
"Weak pay growth and the 'cost of living crisis' remains the Achilles heel of
the economic recovery," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
"But it should not be long until we see earnings growth accelerate as the labour
market continues to tighten. Pay growth should pick up in coming months, perhaps
Public sector employment was down 103,000 in the
first quarter of the year, while private sector employment was up 447,000.