Sixth monthly rise in UK jobless

17-08-2005

July, the longest stretch of rises for 13 years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed that claimant count unemployment rose by 2,800 to 866,000.

ILO unemployment, the number of people out of work including those not on benefits, rose 27,000 to 1.42 million in the three months to the end of June.

The increase took the ILO unemployment rate up to 4.7%, the ONS said.

The ONS also said the rise in unemployment had mainly affected women.

Meanwhile the rate of claimant count unemployment held steady at 2.8% despite July's rise - maintaining the UK's position as a country with one of the lowest jobless rates in the world.

Manufacturing hit

The figures followed high profile business collapses and job cutting drives in the manufacturing sector by firms such as Rolls Royce and Marconi.

The number of people in work fell by 16,000 to 28.59 million during the same period.

The main drag was manufacturing and employment in the sector continued to fall - dropping to 3.2 million during the quarter or 86,000 less jobs than at the same time last year.

Overall wage growth improved, however, and ONS data revealed that average earnings were up 0.1% in June from a month earlier - leaving them 4.2% up on the year.

"The rise in unemployment over the last six months in combination with stagnant retail sales and shrinking manufacturing production shows that the [Bank of England's] Monetary Policy Committee was right to cut interest rates [last month]," said Alan Clarke, UK economist at BNP Paribas.

BBC News

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