UK unemployment falls for second consecutive month

Unemployment in the UK fell by 49,000 between April and June 2010 to 2.46 million, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate for the three months to June 2010 was 7.8%, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter.

This is the second month in a row that the jobless number has fallen, with analysts describing the figures as positive news for the UK jobs market.

The number of people unemployed for up to twelve months fell by 82,000, to reach 1.66 million. However, the number of people unemployed for more than twelve months increased by 33,000 over the quarter to reach 796,000, the highest figure since the three months to March 1997.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (the claimant count) fell by 3,800 between June and July 2010 to reach 1.46 million.

The earnings annual growth rate for total pay (including bonuses) was 1.3% for the three months to June 2010, down from 2.7% for the three months to May. The earnings annual growth rate for regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 1.6% for the three months to June 2010, down from 1.8% for the three months to May.

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