UK unemployment at 1.7 million


UK unemployment at 1.7 million
The number of unemployed people in Britain has risen by more than 100,000 since the beginning of 2007 to reach a total of 1.7 million.

According to official government figures, the unemployment rate over the last quarter was up 0.3 per cent on last year at 5.5 per cent, with 13,000 extra jobless people recorded between January and March.

But the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says that the number of individuals claiming jobseeker's allowance in April was 890,000, down 15,700 on the last month.

In the three months ending March, 28.98 people were in employment in the UK, up 93,000 from the previous year.

The annual rate of growth in average earnings meanwhile – which excludes bonuses – was 3.7 per cent in March, an increase of 0.1 percentage points on February's figure.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at Global Insight, claimed that the moderation in earnings growth that followed a falling back in producer price and consumer price inflation in April "completes a hat-trick" of good inflation news for the Bank of England.

"Indeed, wages remain one inflationary risk that has not really materialised to any meaningful extent so far," he elaborated.

On the quarterly fall in total employment reported today, the ONS attributed the dip to the smaller number of women in part-time employment.

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