UK unemployment rises by 25,000

<p>The jobless total rose in the three months to May</p>

UK unemployment figures have risen by 25,000, according to recent government figures.

During the April to June period, unemployment stood at 1.85 million, up from the previous quarter.

The total number of jobless had also gone up during the three months to May. This is the first time in two years that there have been two consecutive rises, reports the BBC.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that there were 31.03 million people in work during the quarter. That makes the employment rate 73.4 per cent. The number is up from 72.8 per cent a year ago.

According to the data, 22.76 million people were in full-time work. That's up by 352,000 compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, the number of people in part-time work has seen little change since last year, standing at 8.27 million.

Earnings growth is also slowing. Figures from the ONS have indicated that earnings, including bonuses, have risen 2.4 per cent from a year ago. That's down from 3.2 per cent growth in the March to May period.

Removing bonuses from the figure, pay was up 2.8 per cent during April to June – that's unchanged from the previous number.

Commenting on the latest data, David Freeman, a statistician at the ONS, explained that it's probably too early to make any definite conclusions based on the information.

"While it's too early to conclude that the jobs market is levelling off, these figures certainly strengthen that possibility. Growth in pay, however, remains solid," he said.

Value of the pound drops

Although earnings figures remain above the rate of inflation, the weaker-than-expected pay figures and an increase in unemployment have led to a fall in the value of the pound.

Economist Chris Williamson explained that the some people – including members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, which determines interest rates – could see the data as confirmation that the economy is slowing.

"Some of the weakening in the employment trend is simply do to companies being unable to find suitable staff as skill shortages become increasingly relevant," he added.

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