The UK economy grew by 0.3 per cent during the first quarter of 2013, which along with the improved projections of growth and inflation outlined in the Bank of England’s May Inflation report, is good news for the UK. On a less positive note, the economy is still 2.6 per cent smaller than the pre-recession peak .
Despite the growth seen in the first quarter of 2013, the latest data suggests a weakening of the labour market. Comparing January to March with the previous three months, employment fell by 43,000, a drop of 0.1 per cent. This was primarily due to a rise of those classed as economically active by 47,000, mainly students, who accounted for 74 per cent of the increase. Unemployment increased by 15,000, a rise of 0.6 per cent.
There were also positive signs for the labour market, with 503,000 jobs advertised over the period February to April 2013. This is the highest number since October to December 2008. Redundancies have also fallen and are down 5,000 on the previous three months.
Labour market update, latest data: