Unemployment in the UK has continued to fall and the number of people in work has continued to rise, according to the latest official figures.
The number of people out of work in the January to March period fell to 1.83 million, down 35,000 from the previous quarter and the lowest for seven years.
At the same time, the total number in work rose to 31.1 million.
Average pay for employees, excluding bonuses, rose by 2.2% in the quarter compared with a year earlier.
Including the effect of bonus payments, average pay rose by 1.9% over the same period.
The figures mean that regular pay is now growing at its fastest rate for nearly four years.
It is also the seventh month in a row that the rate of regular pay increases has outstripped the prevailing annual rate of inflation, as measured by the consumer prices index.
But not all Wednesday’s economic news was good. The Bank of England cut its 2015 growth forecast from 2.9% to 2.5%, and for next year from 2.9% to 2.6%, as governor Mark Carney unveiled his quarterly inflation report.
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