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UK unemployment rises at fastest rate since records began to 4.2% in June

The rate of UK unemployment has risen to 4.2 per cent at the fastest rate since records began, new figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the jobless figures during the quarter to June soared by 0.3 percentage points from the previous three-month period.

It is the highest since the three months to October 2021, the ONS said, and brings the measure above pre-pandemic levels.

Job vacancies have now fallen over a quarter of a million since this time last year, but remained “significantly above” pre-Covid levels.

The ONS said regular pay, which excludes bonuses, reached 7.8 per cent compared to a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of people prevented from working by long-term sickness has risen again to a new record.

“This is the highest regular annual growth rate we have seen since comparable records began in 2001,” they said.

In real terms, regular pay rose 0.1 per cent for the year when adjusting for Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) inflation.

File photo dated 17/02/16 of a Job Centre Plus in London. The number of UK workers on company payrolls has surged by more than 120,000 above pre-pandemic levels after a record jump in September as vacancies remained above a million for the second month running, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of payrolled workers rose by 207,000 between August and September to a record 29.2 million. Issue date: Sunday September 5, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story ECONOMY Unemployment. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
The rate of UK unemployment has risen to 4.2 per cent at the fastest rate since records began, new figures show (Photo: Philip Toscano Provider: PA)

It is the first time since October 2021 that real wages have increased, the ONS added.

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “The number of unemployed people has risen again while the number of people working has fallen back a little.

“This is mainly due to people taking slightly longer to find work than those who started job hunting in recent months.

“Earnings continue to grow in cash terms, with basic pay growing at its fastest since current records began.

“Coupled with lower inflation, this means the position on people’s real pay is recovering and now looks a bit better than a few months back.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Thanks to the action we’ve taken in the jobs market, it’s great to see a record number of employees.

“Our ambitious reforms will make work pay and help even more people into work – including by expanding free childcare next year – helping to deliver on our priority to grow the economy.”

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