According to latest official figures from the Office for national Statistics [ONS] unemployment in the Britain has fallen for the first time in 12 months.
Falling by 35,000 in the three months between December 2011 and February 2012, the total number of unemployed in the UK now stands at 2.65 million bringing the rate down from a 12-year high of 8.4% to 8.3%..
However, unemployment rose quite strongly during the summer of 2011 with the increases tailing off towards the end of the year so despite this latest decrease, the level of unemployment is still significantly higher than it was a 12 months ago; 170,000 higher than it was at the same point in 2011.
The latest report also contained some encouraging news for youth unemployed with the number of 16-24 year-olds out of work falling to 1.03 million. However the rate of youth unemployment, at 22.2%, remains worryingly high.
Meanwhile average earnings in the UK rose by 1.1% in the 12 months to February; the slowest pace since the summer of 2010.
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Office of National Statisitics