1. ITV Report

Unemployment figures reveal improvement in region

Unemployment in Yorkshire has decreased by 10,000 in the quarter to March, official figures have revealed.

The region's unemployment rate saw a drop of 4.2% during the period Credit: Press Association

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a total of 230,000 people were unemployed in the region between January and March.

The region's unemployment rate was 8.3% and saw a drop of 4.2% during the period.

Nationwide, the number of people in work has reached a record high after further falls in unemployment, fuelled by more self-employment.

More than 30.4 million people are now in work - the highest since records began in 1971 - while self-employment has also reached a record high of 4.5 million.

The number of people working for themselves jumped by 183,000 in the quarter, compared with a rise of 375,000 over the past year.

Unemployment has fallen by 133,000 to 2.2 million, the lowest for five years, giving a jobless rate of 6.8%.

Other data from the ONS showed that jobseeker's allowance claimants fell by 25,100 in April to 1.12 million, the 18th consecutive monthly reduction.

Average earnings increased by 1.7% Credit: Press Association

Meanwhile, average earnings increased by 1.7% in the year to March, slightly ahead of the latest CPI inflation rate of 1.6% - the first time this has happened for four years.

The number of economically-inactive people fell by 85,000 in the latest quarter to 8.85 million, while long-term and youth unemployment also fell.

The number of people out of work for over a year was down by 32,000 to 813,000, with unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds falling by 48,000 to 868,000, the lowest figure for five years.

Unemployment has fallen by more than 300,000 over the past year, giving jobless rates of 7% for men and 6.4% for women.

The number of people in a job rose 283,000 in the last three months - the largest quarterly increase in 43 years. The number of unemployed young people has been falling for the last eight months.

As the recovery takes hold, more people are able to get a job or set up their own business and become the employers of tomorrow. Each and every person who has made a new start or hired someone new is helping to make Britain a more prosperous and confident place to be. We will continue to support those in and out of work who want to get on and fulfil their ambitions for a more secure future.

– Minister for Employment Esther McVey

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the news on Twitter: