The number of people unemployed for up to 12 months fell by 29,000 to reach 1.63 million but the number of people unemployed for over 12 months increased by 11,000 to reach 847,000.
The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to February 2011 was 70.7 per cent, up 0.2 on the quarter. The number of people in employment aged 16 and over increased by 143,000 on the quarter and by 390,000 on the year to reach 29.23 million. The number of people in employment is 331,000 lower than the pre-recession peak of 29.56 million recorded for the three months to May 2008. The quarterly increase in employment was driven by full-time employment which increased by 140,000 on the quarter to reach 21.30 million.
The number of people in public sector employment was 6.20 million in December 2010, down 45,000 from September 2010. The number of people in private sector employment was 22.96 million, up 77,000 from September 2010.