Home » Weakness returns to UK job market with rise in unemployment

Weakness returns to UK job market with rise in unemployment

The British unemployment rate has unexpectedly risen to its highest rate since the summer of 2021 as the jobs market weakens further, although wage growth remains resilient, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of U.K. unemployment lifted to 4.4% in the three months to April, up from 4.3% in the three months to March.

The latest increase defied expectations that the jobless rate would remain unchanged. It has reached its highest level since July to September 2021.

Vacancies also dropped sharply once again, down 12,000 to 904,000 in the three months to May, marking the 23rd fall in a row.

But the figures showed regular earnings growth remained unchanged at 6% in the three months to April and continued to outstrip price rises – up 2.9% when taking Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation into account, which is the highest since the three months to August 2021.

“This month’s figures continue to show signs that the labor market may be cooling, with the number of vacancies still falling and unemployment rising, though earnings growth remains relatively strong,” the ONS said.

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