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UK unemployment rate falls to five-year low

BBC News posted 14 May 2014JCP

The number of people out of work in the UK fell by 133,000 to a fresh five-year low of 2.2 million in the three months to March, official figures show.

The jobless rate also fell to a five-year low of 6.8%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The number of people in work rose to 30.43 million, the highest since records began in 1971, helped by a rise in self-employment.

Average earnings in the three months to March were up 1.7% from a year earlier.

The growth rate in wages – which includes bonuses – was unchanged from the previous month and was slower than analysts had expected.

However, with the inflation rate at 1.6% in March – as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) – it means earnings rose faster than inflation for the first time since 2010.

Excluding bonuses, earnings grew by 1.3% in the three months to March when compared with a year earlier.

Youth unemployment down

In all, 283,000 more people found work in the three-month period, which was the largest quarterly increase since records began in 1971.

The number of people working for themselves reached a record high of 4.55 million, with self-employment jumping by 183,000 in the quarter to March, compared with a rise of 375,000 over the past year.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in April fell by 25,100 to 1.12 million.

And the number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds fell by 48,000 to 868,000 – the lowest figure for five years.

Young candidates being Googled by employers

Posted 14 May 2014 by BBC News Magazinebbc news1

Employers regularly Google prospective candidates to learn about their history – negative images and posts are then viewed very briefly, out of context, in a way that can transform something slightly inadvisable into a real obstacle to getting an interview.

The head of public policy at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Ben Wilmott, says that though employers should only be evaluating candidates based on their competency for the job and any profiles on professional social networking websites such as LinkedIn, many do more general Google searches that can look at private lives. A recent survey by the CIPD found that 40% of employers look at social media profiles to inform their recruitment decisions.