UK Unemployment Falls Sharply
The Government was boosted today by the news that unemployment has fallen by 88,000 over the three months to April this year. This is the biggest fall recorded in more than 10 years and is matched by the number in employment which rose by 80,000 over the same period. Commentators today have been suggesting that this may amount to evidence that the economy is doing much better than the official growth figures have suggested to date.
It is true that the claimant count has increased but this is now accepted as an unreliable measure and may reflect the fact that some unemployed people who had wrongly been claiming disability benefits are being moved onto the correct benefit.
The figures support some anecdotal evidence that the construction sector particularly, has been growing more strongly than the Office for National Statistics has so far measured. It will also been seen as evidence that the Government’s view that the private sector would take up the slack being created by cuts and job losses in the public sector, is being borne out on the ground. It will be interesting to see whether the ONS revises previously published growth figures upwards over the next few months!