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Entrepreneurs Panel

Laura Tenison
Steve Purdham
Richard O'Sullivan
Jeremy Roberts
Charlie Mullins
Michael Oliver
Brian Hay
Julie Meyer
David Pollock
Tony Caldeira
Debbie Pierce
Jennie Johnson

Unemployment rate falls to lowest point since 2005

Unemployment fell by 20,000 to 1.67m in the three months to April, taking the jobless rate to the lowest point since August to October 2005.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of people in work rose by 55,000 compared with the previous quarter to stand at 31.59m.

There were 23.1m people working full-time, up by 304,000 on a year earlier. Another 8.5m were working part-time, up 157,000 year-on-year.

Average weekly earnings not including bonuses increased by 2.3 per cent compared with February to April 2015.

Commenting on the figures, Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said: "The UK labour market remains in decent health, but pipeline pressures are building for employers, at a time when businesses are facing greater uncertainty.

"Firms are facing a number of issues that could add costs: the impact of the introduction of the National Living Wage, the forthcoming apprentice levy and the EU referendum, all against the backdrop of anaemic global growth.

"So, combined with persistently low productivity, real risks remain for the labour market’s long-term health and UK growth more broadly."

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Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

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