THE new Cabinet has been given some good news on the jobs front with the latest figures showing record employment and another huge fall in the numbers out of work.
More than 30 million people are in work, an increase of almost one million over the past year, the best figures since records began in 1971.
In Yorkshire, the jobless tally stands at 222,000 or 7.9% - a fall of 16,000 on the previous quarter.
Nationally, unemployment fell by 121,000 in the quarter to May, to 2.12 million, the lowest since the end of 2009.
The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell by 36,300 in June to 1.04 million, the 20th consecutive monthly fall and the lowest total since 2008.
Economic inactivity, covering those looking after a relative, on long-term sick leave, or no longer looking for work, was 67,000 lower at just under 8.8 million, the lowest figure for more than a decade.
Just over 78% of men and 68% of women are in work, giving an employment rate of 73.1%.
Other figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that more than 4.5 million people were self-employed, the highest since records began in 1992, after an increase of 404,000 over the past year.
Average earnings increased by 0.3% in the year to May, 0.5% down on the previous month, giving average weekly pay of £478.
The 0.3% rise was the lowest since 2009, while excluding bonuses, the figure was 0.7%, the lowest since records began in 2001.
Long-term and youth unemployment have both continued to fall. The number of jobless 16-to-24-year-olds fell by 64,000 over the latest quarter to 817,000, including 283,000 full-time students looking for part-time work.
There was also a drop in the number of people in a part-time job wanting full-time work - down by 61,000 to 1.3 million.
Job vacancies were up by 30,000 to 648,000, an increase of more than 100,000 on a year ago, but 48,000 fewer than the pre-recession peak at the start of 2008.
Employment Minister Esther McVey 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.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Today’s figures show more people have the security of a job than ever before. Full employment is a key aim of our long-term economic plan.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “More people up and down the country are finding jobs as we build a stronger, more balanced economy.
“And today we have the highest employment rate on record, which shows that this Government has created the right conditions for growth.
“We have made the tough decisions to reduce our deficit - lifting around three million people out of tax so they keep more of what they earn, healing the scar of the north-south divide through the Regional Growth Fund, and giving young people a helping hand by boosting apprenticeships.”
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “The fall in unemployment is welcome. However, it is time to drill down into the details of what types of jobs are being created and where.
“This is because large swathes of the country and a great number of workers have seen little or no benefit from this recovery.
“Much of the growth is due to demographic factors, and the increase in population means GDP per head is still well below 2007 levels. This is the root cause of average earnings being down 13.8% in real terms since then.”