The UK economy has received some positive news, with announcements that employment has risen while unemployment has fallen. Combined with more good news regarding the growth of wage rises, this has led to the strengthening of the pound against the dollar as investors become hopeful about British finances.
Priti Patel, UK employment minister, said: "Today's figures confirm that our long-term economic plan is already starting to deliver a better, more prosperous future for the whole of the country, with wages rising, more people finding jobs and more women in work than ever before."
More Britons in work
According to data from the Office of National Statistics, for the three months of February to April the number of people in employment reached 31.05 million. This is an increase of 114,000 compared to the previous three-month period, and around 424,000 more people in work than in February-April 2014.
This has coincided with a fall of 43,000 people who are not employed but seeking work. In total, 1.81 million Britons are now counted as unemployed, down from around 2.16 million in February-April 2014.
Improved wage growth
In April 2015 UK workers earned an average of £462 per week, or £493 including bonuses. This means that in February-April 2015, wages grew by 2.7 per cent compared to the same period of 2014. This is the fastest rise in earnings the UK has seen in almost four years, since August 2011.
A stronger pound
The result of these improvements in the British economy, in combination with a rise of 0.1 per cent in UK consumer prices, has been a stronger pound. The value of GBP has risen against both the US dollar and the euro, as well as a range of other major currencies.
The pound to dollar exchange rate has fallen to 1.5622 – the strongest the pound has been against the US currency in a month – and the euro to pound exchange rate has fallen to 0.7190.
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