Unemployment falls by 51,000

Unemployment has fallen by 51,000 between February and April to 2.61 million. But the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month rose by 8,100 to 1.6 million.

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GMB: 'We need an emergency budget to reflate the economy'

Unemployment of 2.61 million five years into recession is unacceptable, unnecessary and an unforgivable waste of human talents.

Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Cable must conclude that Plan A to reduce the deficit to restore growth is not working and has stalled the recovery.

We need an emergency budget to reflate the economy, to restore demand, which will get people back to work and reduce the deficit.

– Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary

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TUC: 'Real concerns about this being a sustainable recovery'

Today's figures show some long overdue good news in the labour market. New full-time jobs have been created and employment is up while unemployment has fallen.

However, there are still real concerns about this being a sustainable recovery. Long-term youth unemployment has risen yet again, the claimant count is still going up and while male unemployment fell by 52,000 in the quarter, the number of unemployed women only fell by 3,000.

We now need to turn today's positive news into a steady fall in unemployment. The Government must invest in jobs to get the economy growing again."

– TUC general secretary Brendan Barber

Employment Minister 'remains cautious'

Any fall in unemployment is very welcome but I remain cautious over the next few months, given the continuing economic challenges we face.

There are more jobs available in the economy with vacancies at 465,000, up 7,000 on this time last year.

The number of people employed in the private sector is up 205,000 on the quarter, more than offsetting a 39,000 fall in public sector employment. The total number of people working full-time has also increased by 82,000.

– Employment Minister Chris Grayling
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