Unemployment falls as Olympics boosts jobs

The UK unemployment rate has fallen to a nine-month low as the Olympics helps create thousands of private sector jobs.

The jobless total for the UK fell by 65,000 between February and April with a surge in London based jobs accounting for 61,000.  The increase is linked the huge number of support, customer service and hospitality roles needed for the games.

This UK’s overall jobless total decreased by 0.1% to 8.1%, which is lower than expected.  It compares to 11% in the Euro region as a whole, 8.2% in the US and 4.4% in Japan.

However, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, unemployment benefit claims rose by more than expected in June to 1.6million, an increase of 6,100.  The DWP said the rise was due to a change in the way that benefits are calculated, in particular the fact that some lone parents had been moved off of income support and onto Jobseekers Allowance.

The long term unemployment figures remain challenging and show that the number of people out of work for more than two years had risen to 18,000 to 441,000 which is the highest since 1997.

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