June 12 2013.

- In the three months to January 2013, unemployment fell by 5,000, and employment rose by 24,000

- Youth unemployment fell by 43,000, but remains high

- In the first quarter of 2013, public sector employment fell by 22,000, while private sector employment increased by 46,000

Commenting on the unemployment figures, published today by the ONS, David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: "This modest improvement in the labour market is very welcome, especially as it reverses the decline seen in the last couple of months. Despite the level of inactivity rising slightly, the UK labour market remains robust and is performing well by international standards. However pay, excluding bonuses, remains well below inflation at 0.9%, exacerbating the squeeze on real incomes.

"The private sector is creating jobs while the public sector shrinks, which proves that British businesses are able to drive the economic recovery while circumstances at home and abroad remain challenging. In this month's Spending Review, the Chancellor should look towards a shift of priorities away from current spending and towards capital investment, to improve the supply potential of the economy."