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Unemployment rises to 1.85 million


The number of people unemployed in the UK rose in the April to June period by 25,000, taking the current total to 1.85 million.

These figures show the first time there has been two consecutive rises in unemployment in the last two years. Youth unemployment also rose to 16% in June, compared to 15.9% between March to May. Many economists now fear that the jobs market may be levelling off.

Official figures from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have also shown that the growth of earnings is slowing. Earnings including bonuses rose 2.4% from a year ago, compared with 3.2% growth in the March to May period. Although it is still above inflation, the slow growth in earing has helped push the value of the pound down.

Wage growth is a factor the Bank of England takes into consideration when it decides whether to push the base interest rates above their current record low levels.

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."

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:
"Thanks to our long term economic plan we have already seen two 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."

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