- West Country (E)
- 5 updates
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".
The Government received good news on the jobs front today with the latest unemployment figures showing a record number of people in work.
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.
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.
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."
Despite the latest unemployment figures showing a rise of 3,000 in the South West, nationally unemployment fell by 121,000 to 2.12 million.
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.
Unemployment in the South West has increased by 3,000 in the quarter to May.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a total of 138,000 people were unemployed in the region between March and May, a rise of 2.2% during the period.