The number of unemployed men fell by 43,000 to reach 1.51 million but the number of unemployed women increased by 8,000 to reach 1.14 million, the highest figure since the three months to November 1987.
Despite the fall in unemployment,the Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) claimant count rose by 3,600 in March – the highest total since October 2009 – to 1.61 million.
However, the Government said that as this includes the effect of welfare reforms that are moving more people onto JSA from other benefits, the underlying trend remains broadly flat.
The 35,000-fall, however, masked the record number of people “forced into part-time working”, according to Unison.
The number of people in part-time employment was 7.94 million in the three months to February 2012, up 80,000 from the three months to November 2011. Of this total, 2.07 million were men and 5.86 million were women…