Number of people in work up by 24,000 while unemployment remains steady at 7.8 per cent

The UK unemployment rate in February through April 2013 was 7.8 per cent – the same level as the prior period – a figure that has met most analysts’ expectations.

There were 2.51m economically active people out of work, down 5,000 from November 2012 through January 2013.

Employment, meanwhile, was at 71.5 per cent, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous period. The number of people in work was 29.76m, up by 24,000.

Meanwhile, total pay rose by 1.3 per cent and regular pay rose by 0.9 per cent, confirming predictions by foreign exchange company World First, who thought wages would go up, primarily due to bonus deferrals to the new tax year.

Jenny Cook, chief economist at World First is heartened by the news.

As far as good pieces of labour market data go, you don’t get much better than this....

The key question mark against the progress of the UK economy has been how our growth level has not been higher, given the relatively low unemployment figures compared to our European counterparts.

Well we may soon get our much sought after growth, if labour conditions maintain this upward trend.

Regionally, the employment rate was highest in the South East (74.8 per cent) and lowest in the North East (66.6 per cent). Unemployment, meanwhile, was highest in the North West (10.1 per cent) and lowest in the South West (6.2 per cent).