Good news May
In the three months to the end of March:
Unemployment fell by 133,000 to 2.2m
The jobless rate is 6.8%, the lowest since 2009.
The number of people in work rose to 30.43m, the highest since records began in 1971.
The number of vacancies in the economy is at its highest since the spring of 2008.
During the quarter 283,000 people found work,
183,000 of these, nearly two thirds, joined the ranks of the UK’s self-employed, taking this group to a record high of 4.5m.
Of the 99,000 new employee jobs, a third (33,000) were temporary, leaving 66,000 as some form of permanent contract.
Two-thirds of all new jobs are created by firms employing fewer than 100 people.
Currently there are 611,000 job vacancies in the UK waiting to be filled.
A total of 34,904 Romanians and 10,445 Bulgarians registered for National Insurance numbers – the first three months after the lifting of employment restrictions on migrant workers from the two countries.
UK retail sales grew at the fastest pace in a decade in April, as an ongoing supermarket price war and the late Easter holiday helped to boost sales.
Monthly sales excluding fuel grew by 1.3pc in April, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, much higher than the 0.4pc growth expected by economists. On an annual basis, sales grew by 6.9pc, representing the highest annual growth rate since May 2004
Royal Mail is to start delivering parcels and opening delivery offices on Sundays as part of a new trial prompted by the rise in online shopping.
The privatised postal group said parcels will be delivered on Sundays later in the summer to addresses within the M25 motorway, including London.