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UK employment hits record high

The total number of people in full employment in Britain has reached its highest level since records began.Government figures show that in the three months ending May there were 29.1 million people of employable age in work, an increase of 180,000 on the year.According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the total jobless in the UK fell 35,000 during the same period to 1.66 million.Peter Hain, work and pensions secretary, said the data was proof that the government had developed "one of the most proactive approaches in the world to getting people off benefits and back into work".The ONS revealed that the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell to 864,100 in June, meaning the claimant count had now fallen for 11 out of the last 12 months."These figures show that we are getting results: employment is at an all time high, unemployment is down and the numbers on the main out-of-work benefits are falling for the first time in a generation," Mr Hain commented."What is more, the improvements have been greatest for the groups that started off in the worst position. These figures provide a strong platform for our green paper today, which will set out the next steps we will take to achieve our goal of full employment in this generation."Today's statistics also show that average earnings including bonuses increased by 3.5 per cent in the year to May, which compares to the 4.1 per cent recorded in April.

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