By Marcus Leach

Official figures released today (Wednesday) show that UK unemployment has fallen by an unexpected 5,000.

The Office for National Statistics's (ONS) data suggests 2.51 million people were out of work in the three months to April. The jobless rate was unchanged from three months earlier, at 7.8%.

Average earnings in April were 1.3% higher than a year earlier, and 0.7% up on the previous month.

Meanwhile, Jobseeker's Allowance claimants fell by 8,600 in May from a month earlier to 1.51 million.

“On today’s evidence, unemployment is continuing to fall in the UK relative to the rest of Europe and with the British manufacturing and service sectors also putting out healthy data recently, we will see significant jobs growth by the end of the year," John Salt, Website Director at totaljobs.com said.

"Businesses, who have been treading water during the last 3-4 years of stagnant GDP figures, can no longer afford to put off hiring and must capitalise on these signs of economic growth.

"Along with fresh impetus from business, banks must free up credit for the vital SME sector which employs the majority of the UK workforce. Furthermore, the Government must continue to fund apprenticeships and vocational qualifications to help to create jobs for young people.”

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