UK employers added 200,000 jobs in May as more people returned to work and the unemployment rate fell as the economic recovery from the pandemic strengthened.

The number of people in payrolled employment rose 197,000 between April and May but remains 553,000 below the level reached before the pandemic began, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

The official unemployment rate, which measures people out of work and looking for a job, fell to 4.7 per cent between February and April, down from 5 per cent in the previous quarter.

Young people have borne the brunt of job losses during the pandemic. There were 126,000 fewer payrolled workers aged under 25 in May this year than there were 12 months earlier.

The data showed encouraging signs of a recovery in some of the industries that have been hit hardest by lockdowns and social distancing. Indoor hospitality reopened across the UK in May, boosting cinemas, restaurants, pubs and…

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