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Unemployment falls to 7.8 per cent

Youth unemployment down by 0.8 per cent.

Following the bad news of yesterday's spike in inflation, the picture is slightly better in the labour market.

The unemployment rate has fallen this month, from 7.9 per cent to 7.8 per cent. The total has also fallen, by 49,000, to make 2.51m out of work. The employment rate similarly rose to 71.2 per cent, or 29.58 million (As ever, the absolute numbers are less important than the rates, since they fail to take into account population growth).

Encouragingly, there was a fall in youth unemployment by 49,000 people, meaning that the entirety of the labour market improvement is due to an improving state of affairs for young people. The rate of youth unemployment fell accordingly, by 0.8 points, but is still at 20.7 per cent.

Long-term unemployment has risen slightly to 900,000.

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.