A fall in unemployment has been welcomed as evidence of a labour market recovery.
Office for National Statistics figures showed that the number of unemployed people fell by 35,000 from March to May.
Ian Brinkley, chief economist at the Work Foundation think-tank, said: “At long last we can start to see some evidence of a recovery in the labour market as the economic growth feeds into jobs. Employment growth in the latest quarter has been stronger than it has been for many months.”
There were 1.66 million people registered as unemployed in May; the number of people in employment was up 93,000 to 29.08 million; and the number of vacancies was up 5,100 to 641,900.
‘The private sector seems finally to be rediscovering a role it had previously abandoned: that of creating jobs,” said Brinkley.
“While employment in the public sector has fallen by 49,000 in the wake of public spending being turned down, private sector employment has risen by 136,000 between March 2006 and March 2007.”