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More job vacancies now than before pandemic, as unemployment rate falls slightly

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There are more job vacancies now than there were before the pandemic, official figures show, as unemployment edges slowly down after a year of job losses.

The number of open jobs between April to June 2021 was 77,500 above its pre-pandemic level in January to March 2020, according to the Official for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the first time it has surpassed this level in 15 months.

Unemployment fell slightly between March and May 2021, according to official figures, with an uptick in both the employment and the number of hours worked.

The UK’s unemployment rate is currently 4.8%, nearly 1% higher than before the pandemic began, the ONS said, but slightly lower than the previous quarter.