UK Employment Hits Record High Despite Slow Economic Growth

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The slowest economic growth in more than five years has not impacted the UK job market, unemployment data for May shows a record employment rate in the first three months of 2018.  The unemployment rate remains at 4.2%, down from 4.6% a year earlier, according to latest official figures for Jan to Mar 2018. This equates to 1.42 million people. By comparison, the average euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5% in March 2018.  Over the last year, the number of people unemployed for over 12 months has gone down by approximately 27,000 (to 358,000). The figure of those unemployed for over 2 years has decreased to 195,000 since the same period in 2017.  More than half a million 16-24-year olds are unemployed in the UK, in the first three months of 2018 there were 531,000 unemployed 16-24-year-olds (including 175,000 full-time students looking for part-time work).  In the three months to March, earnings growth increased by 2.6%, slower than the annual rise of 2.8% recorded in the three months to February