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  1. ITV Report

Unemployment in the North West increases by 8,000

325,000 were unemployed in the region between February and April. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Unemployment in the North West increased by 8,000 in the three months to April, official figures have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 325,000 people were unemployed in the region between February and April.

The region's unemployment rate was 9.4% and saw a rise of 2.5% during the period. The North West was the joint worst area in the UK with an increase of 8,000 people without a job, with the North East also seeing a rise of 8,000 in those without work.

Across the country unemployment fell by 51,000 between February and April to 2.61 million, official figures showed but the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month rose by 8,100 to 1.6 million, said the Office for National Statistics.

The number in work saw its biggest increase since the quarter to August 2010 as the employment rate increased by 166,000 to almost 29.28 million - nearly equally split between full and part-time workers.

Almost eight million people are now in a part-time job, while those working part-time because they cannot find full-time work increased by 25,000 to 1.4 million.

Self-employment has reached a record figure of 4.17 million, up by 84,000 since the previous quarter.

Average earnings increased by 1.4% in the year to April, up by 0.5 percentage points on the previous month due to the timing of bonuses.

Average weekly pay in private firms in April was £5 higher at £465 compared with a year ago but other figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of people unemployed for more than a year increased by 85,000 to 886,000.

The number of people unemployed for more than two years rose by 29,000 to 434,000.