Economist Dr Howard Archer, on behalf of IHS Global insight, said:
This is a very surprising set of improved labour market data, which suggests that either the jobs market is proving remarkably resilient in the face of mild recession or the economy is actually performing better than indicated by the modest GDP contraction reported for the first quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2011.
We suspect it may be a bit of both.
More top news
The much-loved local character, who had lived on the city's streets for decades, died in hospital this week after falling ill.
Man City remain five points behind Chelsea in the Premier League title race after a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge
Five NHS trusts in the Midlands have come under fire after it emerged bosses were sitting on more than £134 million of spare cash.