UK Jobless Rate Rises To 4.4%

The UK unemployment rate rose slightly in three months to April and wage growth remained strong, the Office for National Statistics reported Tuesday.

The unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent in the three months to April from 4.3 percent in three months to March. The rate was forecast to remain unchanged at 4.3 percent.

In three months to April, average earnings excluding bonus grew 6.0 percent from the previous year. Including bonus, average earnings advanced 5.9 percent, faster than economists’ forecast of 5.7 percent.

In May, payroll employment decreased 3,000 from the prior month to 30.3 million.

Data showed that vacancies decreased on the quarter for the 23rd consecutive period. The number of vacancies fell by 12,000 to 904,000.

“This month’s figures continue to show signs that the labour market may be cooling, with the number of vacancies still falling and unemployment rising, though earnings growth remains relatively strong,” the ONS said.

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