18 July 2012 10:57
Unemployment has fallen for the fourth month in a row and more jobs are being created, especially for people over the age of 65, new figures from the Office for National Statistics showed today.
The jobless total fell by 65,000 to 2.58 million in the quarter to May, the lowest for almost a year, while the number of people in employment increased by 181,000 to just under 30 million, the highest for almost four years.
But the numbers claiming jobseeker's allowance jumped by 6,100 last month to 1.6 million, including an increase of 8,000 among women to 530,700, the highest figure for 17 years.
The ONS said the increase among women was likely to have been affected by a change in eligibility rules for lone parent income support from May.
Long-term unemployment has also increased, with those out of work for more than two years up by 18,000 to 441,000, the worst figure since 1997.
The number jobless for more than a year rose by 3,000 to 885,000, while there were just over a million unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds, down 10,000 on the three months to February.
The biggest falls in unemployment, and increase in work, was in London, suggesting that the Olympic Games is having an impact on the figures.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling today visited a new delivery office opened in London by TNT, which said it planned to create 20,000 new jobs across the UK in the next five years.
Around 70 new posts have been created at the new office as part of a pilot scheme delivering post to households and businesses in west London.