Unemployment in the North West has fallen

New figures reveal how many people are out of work

New figures reveal how many people are out of work

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Unemployment in the North West fell by 28,000 in the three months to March, official figures have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 201,000 people were unemployed in the region between January and March.

The region’s unemployment rate was 5.7 per cent and saw a fall of 12.2 per cent during the period. The worst area in the UK was Scotland which recorded a 19,000 increase in the number of people without a job. The new Government has been given some good news on the jobs front, with unemployment continuing to fall and a record number of people in work.

Figures showed that unemployment has dipped to a seven-year low of 1.83m, although the latest quarterly cut of 35,000 was the smallest for almost two years.

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell by 12,600 in April to 763,000, the 30th consecutive monthly reduction.

Employment continued to rise, up by 202,000 in the three months to March to more than 31m, the highest since records began in 1971.

The UK now has an employment rate of 73.5 per cent, also a record, although for men the figure is even higher at 78.4 per cent.

The claimant count has fallen by around 350,000 in the past year, although last month’s 12,600 was the smallest fall since March 2013.

Average earnings increased by 1.9 per cent in the year to March, up by 0.2 percentage points on the previous month, giving an average weekly wage of £489.

Other data showed that almost nine million people were classed as economically inactive, including students, those looking after a family, on long-term sick leave or who had given up looking for work.

The total was down by 69,000 over the quarter, but little changed compared with a year ago.

Long-term unemployment has also fallen, down by 50,000 for those out of work for more than a year to 588,000.

The UK’s unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent is the second-lowest in the European Union after Germany, and compares with the highest rates of 25 per cent in Greece and 23 per cent in Spain.