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UK unemployment rate jumps by more than expected as job market cools

Updated: Apr 16th, 2024

Source: IANS

The UK’s unemployment rate has risen by more than expected and earnings growth has eased back once again in the latest sign that economic uncertainty is affecting the country’s jobs market. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the jobless rate jumped to 4.2% in the three months to Feb - the highest level for nearly six months and up from 3.9% in the three months to Jan.

Most economists had been expecting the rate to only edge up slightly to 4% in the quarter.

The official figures also showed regular wage growth, excluding bonuses, falling back once again, to 6% in the three months to Feb.

But, thanks to falling inflation, when taking the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) into account, real regular wages rose by 2.1%, which is the highest for almost two-and-a-half years.

Liz McKeown, ONS director of economic statistics, said, “Recent trends of falling vacancy numbers and slowing earnings growth have continued this month, albeit at a reduced pace.”

“At the same time, we are now seeing tentative signs that the jobs market is beginning to cool, with both a fall in the headline employment rate from our survey and a drop in the total number of people on payrolls from HMRC data.”

(Source: IANS)

Edited for style

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