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Regular wages growth falls to record low of 0.7%

Fears of a "cost of living crisis" have been reignited after regular wages growth fell to a record low of 0.7%.

Fears of a "cost of living crisis" have been reignited.
Fears of a "cost of living crisis" have been reignited. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

Overall pay - including bonuses - climbed by just 0.3% compared with the three months to May in 2013, which is the lowest increase since the financial crisis in 2009. The figure is skewed by higher bonus payments in April 2013 that took advantage of tax rate changes.

However, the increase of regular pay - excluding bonuses - was at 0.9% in the three months to April before sinking to an all-time low of 0.7% growth since records began in 2001.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, said: "With wage growth at its lowest rate since 2001, while inflation continues to vastly outstrip wage rates, ordinary people are working harder and getting poorer."

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics showed that unemployment had dropped by 121,000 to 2.12 million.

Read: What happened to the 'year of the pay-rise'?

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Cable: Focus now on driving skills and innovation

The new Cabinet has been given some positive news on the jobs front with latest figures showing record employment and a big fall in the number of people out of work.

Vince Cable said it is a "very positive story" and the figures were "remarkable" with more than one million new jobs in the last year.

Unemployment fell by 121,000 to 2.12 million between March and May, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Read: Unemployment drops by 121,000 to 2.12 million.

Employment figures show record number in work

The Government received good news on the jobs front today with the latest unemployment figures showing a record number of people in work.

Men outside a Job Centre Plus branch
Men outside a Job Centre Plus branch. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Read: McVey says employment rise reward for country's resilience in downturn

Over 30 million people are now in work, which is an increase of almost a million in the past year - the best figures since records began in 1971.

There is an employment rate of 73.1%, with just over 78% of men and 68% of women in work.

More than 4.5 million people are self-employed, which is the highest since records began in 1992 after an increase of 404,000 over the past year, Office for National Statistics showed.

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

McVey: Employment rise reward for country's resilience

The country's "resilience" during the economic downturn "is being rewarded" after figures released today showed a fall in unemployment, Employment Minister Esther McVey said.

Employment Minister Esther McVey
Employment Minister Esther McVey. Credit: PA

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

She said: "An important milestone has been reached in our country's recovery. With one of the highest employment rates ever, it's clear that the Government's long-term economic plan to help businesses create jobs and get people working again is the right one.

"With an employment rate which has never been higher, record women in work and more young people in jobs, the resilience of the country during the downturn is being rewarded.

"We know there is more to do, and the best way to do so is to go on delivering a plan that's creating growth and jobs."

Read: Esther McStay - why has she missed out on a promotion again?

Cameron: Full employment key aim of economic plan

David Cameron has welcomed today's figures which shows there has been a fall in unemployment.

The Prime Minister tweeted that the figures "show more people have the security of a job than ever before".

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Today's figures show more people have the security of a job than ever before. Full employment is a key aim of our #LongTermEconomicPlan.

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

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Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

Unemployment fell by 121,000 to 2.12 million between March and May, official figures showed.

Unemployment fell between March and May.
Unemployment fell between March and May. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month fell by 36,300 to 1.04 million, said the Office for National Statistics.

Average earnings increased by 0.3% in the year to May, 0.5% down on the previous month.

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

Five week wait for benefits is 'cruel and vindictive'

The TUC have said that a poll of more than 1,600 adults showed that most were opposed to the five-week wait for benefits

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said:

Making people who have contributed all their lives wait five weeks before receiving any help is both cruel and vindictive.

Just as with the bedroom tax, it shows that ministers are desperately out of touch with the lives of ordinary people.

People who lose their jobs need to be concentrating on looking for a new one, not worrying about whether they have enough money to pay the mortgage, keep up with their rent or feed their children.

The five-week wait is yet another ill-thought out idea and should be enough to send the whole policy back to the drawing board.

– TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady

Unemployed could wait 'five weeks' for benefits

Recently unemployed adults may have to wait five weeks before they get any benefit payments, according to a new report.

The report, published ahead of the latest unemployment figures, said the new five-week wait will apply to anyone making a fresh claim for social security benefits.

Newly unemployed people could wait up to five weeks for a claim. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA

The union organisation said it was a "new and deliberate delay" which could distract new claimants from looking for work and drive them into the hands of payday loan firms.

More: Number of people out of work falls by 161,000 to 2.16m

Private school pupils 'earn £200,000 more'

Children educated at private school are likely to earn almost £200,000 more over the course of their career than their counterparts in the state system, new research suggests.

Pupils from schools such as Eton will go on to earn significantly more than those educated at state school. Credit: David Parker/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A study by the Social Market Foundation found that between the ages of 26 and 42 a privately educated person will earn approximately £193,700 more on average than someone who went to state school.

The difference means an average private school pupil will earn 43% more than their state school peers by the age of 34, although this falls slightly to 34% by the aged of 42.

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