|Compare these figures to those of southern countries in EU|
Unemployment has dropped to its lowest rate since 2005 while the employment rate has stayed at a record high of 74.2%. Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show the unemployment rate now stands at 5.0% and there are nearly 31.6m people in work.
There are nearly half-a-million more people in work compared to a year ago, with wages before bonuses up by 2.3% in the same period. The growth in employment is being driven by full-time work. At 5.6%, the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds who have left full-time education and are unemployed has never been lower