Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
The UK’s unemployment rate has fallen again as more people returned to work as pandemic restrictions were eased.
New figures released by the Office for National Statistics this morning show that 197,000 people joined company payrolls in May, the sixth monthly increase in a row.
That follows the reopening of non-essential shops, leisure and hospitality venues in April, and the resumption of indoor services in pubs and restaurants in May.
The latest figures “suggest that the jobs market is showing signs of recovery”, the ONS says — although there are still more than half a million fewer people on payrolls than before the pandemic.
The number of payrolled employees has increased for the sixth consecutive month, up by 197,000 in May 2021 to 28.5 million.
It is however 553,000 below levels seen before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since February 2020, the largest falls in payrolled employment have…