Unemployment figures increase

There
has been an increase in the number of jobless and a drop in earnings growth
according to figures out today.

Data
from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the number of people out of
work in the three months to April rose by 36,000 on the previous quarter to
1,495,000.

The
ONS also finds that the number of people out of work and claiming benefit increased
by 9,700 last month to 950,800 – the biggest jump for more than 10 years.

Average
earnings increased by 3.2 per cent in the year to April, down from March’s
figure of 3.4 per cent.

The
manufacturing sector continued to struggle, with the number of industrial-based
jobs in the three months to April falling by 3.7 per cent from a year ago to
3.53 million – the lowest level since records began in 1984.

However,
although unemployment increased, the number of people in employment also
increased by 51,000 to 27.87 million – the highest level since records began.

The
apparent contradiction between rising joblessness and employment is explained
in part by the large number of women entering the workforce for the first time.

By Ben Willmott

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