British unemployment just fell once again, dropping to a low not seen in more than ten years.
The unemployment rate fell to just 5%, down from the 5.1% level where it had hovered for several months. No change in the unemployment rate had been forecast by economists
Between February and April, there were 1.67 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), down by 20,000 compared with the three months to January, according to the Office for National Statistics.
While unemployment fell, employment rose, hitting 74.2%, the joint highest level since records began in 1971.
Here’s the ONS’ chart showing how the number of people in employment has changed in the UK in recent months:
Chancellor George Osborne quickly seized on the numbers, arguing that Britain voting to leave the European Union — a topic dominating all thinking right now — would jeopardise the jobs recovery. In a tweet sent just after the data release, Osborne said: “At 5%, unemployment at its lowest rate for eleven years – let’s not put that at risk by irreversible decision to quit EU.”