UK unemployment rises for the first time in two years

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UK unemployment rose by 15,000 to 1.85 million over the three months to May 2015, recent figures published by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) has been able to reveal.

The ONS found that, for the aforementioned time frame, there were 30.98 million people in work, 67,000 fewer than for the 3 months to February 2015. Comparing March to May 2015 with a year earlier, there were 265,000 more people in work (272,000 more people working full-time and 7,000 fewer people working part-time).

The proportion of the economically active population who were unemployed (the unemployment rate) was 5.6%, little changed compared with the 3 months to February 2015 but lower than for a year earlier (6.5%).

On the bright side, comparing March to May 2015 with a year earlier, pay for employees in Great Britain increased by 3.2% including bonuses and by 2.8% excluding bonuses.

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills, said:

“While it is disappointing to see that employment has fallen, this is largely due to reductions among those self-employed.

“This fall must be seen against the backdrop of strong employment growth since the end of 2013, so it is far too early to draw conclusions. Nevertheless, it offers a timely reminder of the importance of Government treading carefully in the labour market and protecting the flexibility that gives Britain a great record on jobs.”

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