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The UK unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in the first quarter, to 4.8%, as LFS employment rose by 84,000, the biggest gain since the three months to February of 2020, before the pandemic ravaged the economy, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. RTI employment, as measured by payroll data submitted to HMRC, increased by 97,000 in April, the largest rise since the onset of the pandemic.
More than three-quarters of those news roles were in administration and support or finance and insurance. The employment rate inched up to 75.2% from 75.1% in the three months to February, while the number of redundancies fell sharply to 5.5 per thousand from 7.3 per thousand in the three months to February. Vacancies rose by 48,4000 over the three months to January to 657,000, the highest since the first quarter of last year.