The figures dropped by 65,000 to 2.58million but critics say it is hard to be optimistic yet as this drop might be caused by jobs created by the Olympics. This has been coined the ‘Olympic effect’ by some sceptics.
General Secretary of Unison, Dave Prentis, believes that the impending games have distorted the figures: “The Olympic effect may give the impression of a recovery, but it is a mirage. The number of long-term unemployed is still rising, and huge numbers of women and young people are still struggling to find work."
There is some truth to Prentis’ words; long-term unemployment for those who have been out of work for over two years has increased by 18,000 to 441,000. These are the worse figures the UK has seen since 1997.
In addition, the number of those who have been unemployed for over a year has seen an increase of 3,000 to 885,000.
Furthermore, despite this new dip in unemployment the UK has seen in increase in the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance by 6,100 to 1.6 million, including an increase of 8,000 among women to 530,700, the highest figure for 17 years.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) assured that the increase among women was likely to have been affected by a change in eligibility rules for lone parent income support from May.
But there is good news for young people; unemployment in 16 to 24 year olds on the three months to February is down by 10,000 to just over a million.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling who today visited a new delivery office opened in London by TNT, which said it planned to create 20,000 new jobs across the UK in the next five years said about the decrease in employment: “This is an encouraging set of figures in what is still an incredibly difficult economic climate. Not only is unemployment falling but in overall terms there are now almost 100,000 less people on benefits since the 2010 election. We still have a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction.”
With the number of vacancies increased in the quarter to June by 10,000 to 471,000, perhaps this is the first sign that economically things are finally getting better.