Data published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics showed that in the 3 months to March employment rose to a new record high of 76.1 per cent of the population, up from 75.4 per cent this time last year, and unemployment for Q1 dipped to 3.9 per cent from 4.0 per cent in the previous quarter. Average earnings are running at 3.4 per cent growth, 3.5 per cent including bonus, keeping them just below pre-2008 levels. The biggest leap was in the ratio of women over 50 years old in work, possibly caused by a later pensionable age.
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