UK unemployment rose by 25,000 in the three months to June up to 1.85 million, according to data by the Office for National Statistics.
This is first time that there’s been two consecutive rises in the number of people out of work in two years.
There were 1.85 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work) in the period, about 25,000 higher than the January to March period, but 221,000 fewer compared to a year earlier.
The unemployment rate for the period was 5.6 percent, up slightly compared to the previous month but down compared to the same time last year.
There were 31 million people in work between April and June, about 63,000 lower than the three months to March, but 354,000 more than a year ago.
It should be noted that the employment rate – the percent of people aged 16 to 64 in work – was 73.4%, compared to 72.8% a year ago.
UK employment rate (aged 16 to 64), seasonally adjusted
Source: Department for Work and Pensions
Pay for employees in the UK rose by 2.4% including bonuses, down by 0.8 per cent on the previous month, but still beating inflation.
ONS statistician David Freeman said: “This is now the second consecutive time we’ve reported fewer people in work on the quarter.
“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.”
Job vacancies at near record high
Between April and June the total number of UK nationals in work rose by 84,000 versus last year to 27.7 million. The number of non-UK nationals i work increased by 257,000 to 3.1 million.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:
“Thanks to our long term economic plan we have already seen 2 million more people in jobs since 2010. On top of that, today’s figures show job vacancies at a near record high – evidence of the continued confidence of British businesses, and potential for further growth in the UK economy.
“Our one nation government is helping millions across the country to succeed and achieve their full potential. I was particularly pleased to see that wages are continuing to rise – meaning that hardworking people will see a real difference in their pay packets.”
Update – October 14, 2015: The Office for National Statistics reported that unemployment fell to a seven-year low of 5.4%.