Unemployment rises by 31,000 to 1.33m in last three months - the biggest since 2017

Unemployment rises by 31,000 to 1.33m in last three months – the biggest since 2017

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Unemployment rose by 31,000 to 1.33 million in the three months to June, official figures showed.

The rise in unemployment  was the biggest since 2017.

Average earnings increased by 3.7% compared with 3.4% in the previous month, said the Office for National Statistics.

There were still 115,000 new jobs created during the period.

Over the last six months the number of vacancies has been falling with fewer now than this time last year.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, said: “Every person deserves the chance to succeed and provide for their families through a steady income. I’m pleased to see 2.9 million more people are in work every day since 2010, wages are rising at their fastest in more than a decade, and people across the UK are taking home more of what they earn.

“Thanks to the hard work of the British people and the government, we can further invest in our public services. And today’s figures are another sign that despite the challenges across the global economy, the fundamentals of the British economy are strong as we prepare to leave the EU.”

Laura Gardiner, Research Director at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The UK labour market looks like a sea of calm amid growing economic uncertainty both here and abroad. Employment remains at a record high, while earnings are growing at their fastest rate since mid-2008.

“The question is how long this calm can be sustained, with the economy contracting and productivity falling for the fourth consecutive quarter. Turning this around has to be a top priority for the new government.

“And while the labour market overall is in rude health, the significant rise in Zero-Hours Contracts shows that job quality remains a concern, particularly for young people.”

ONS deputy head of labour market statistics Matt Hughes said: “Employment continues to increase, with three-quarters of this year’s growth being due to more women working.” 

“However, the number of vacancies has been falling for six months, with fewer now than there were this time last year.”

“Excluding bonuses, real wages are growing at their fastest in nearly four years, but pay levels still have not returned to their pre-downturn peak.” 

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