• In three months to April 2015, unemployment fell by 43,000 and employment rose by 114,000
  • Also in the three months to April 2015, the total unemployment rate was 5.5% and youth unemployment was 16.1%
  • Comparing February to April 2015 with the year before, total pay was 2.7% higher, both including and excluding bonuses – the highest growth in years

Commenting on the latest labour market statistics published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Once again, we see strong labour market figures with employment continuing to rise and unemployment falling. The flexibility and dynamism of the UK labour market remain a major source of strength for the economy and confirm our optimism that we will continue to see growth in the year ahead.

“One area of concern is youth employment, which remains stubbornly high – almost three times higher than the national average.

“The acceleration in average earnings growth to 2.7% confirms that living standards are rising and households will be really starting to feel the benefit.

“The speed in the rise in earnings will embolden a minority on the MPC who feel the urge to raise rates. However, until there is firmer evidence of comparable increases in productivity, such a move would be premature. With inflation likely to remain around zero for the next few months and to edge up slowly thereafter, the MPC should not jump the gun and, in doing so, endanger the recovery. This is a moment when patience is a virtue.”