Unemployment falls to 2.56 million

The total number of people out of work is down by 46,000. Photo: Press Association

Unemployment has fell by 46,000 between April and June to 2.56 million, according to official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The increase in the number of people in work brings the rate down to 8%.

ITV News's Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports on the latest unemployment figures which show another drop in the number of people out of work, despite the recession.

Most of the quarterly fall was recorded in London, suggesting a big jobs boost from the Olympic games. The number of people in part time work has reached a record high whilst the number of young people out of work fell slightly.

  • Number of people in work increased by 201,000 to almost 30 million
  • Number of people seeking jobseeker's allowance decreased by 5,900 to 1.59 million
  • Youth unemployment fell by 4,000 to just over one million
  • Number of people in part time work reached a record high of 8.07 million

Although the overall number of people claiming job seeker's allowance is down, the number of women claiming has edged up. 1,600 more women are claiming the benefit, compared to a 7,500 fall among men.

Big regional differences remain: the biggest increase in jobs was in London, whilst across Yorkshire, Humber, East and West Midlands and in Northern Ireland the number of people out of work continues to climb.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the figures show that full time jobs are being created.

The number of people classed as economically inactive, which includes those looking after a sick relative, on early retirement, or who have given up looking for work, fell by 117,000 to 9.1 million, just over 22% of the working age population.

Work and Pensions Secretary said the numbers were encouraging, and "going in the right direction." He told Sky News:

These are positive and encouraging figures demonstrating the strength of our private sector, notwithstanding the difficult economic times it is still creating jobs, the vast majority of which are full time. Unemployment is falling and the claimant count is down.

The full statistics are explained below: