Unemployment increases but job market is recovering

The number of unemployed people in the UK has risen to 1.68 million between April and June, according to government figures.

The unemployment rate rose by 92,000 in the three months ending in June 2006, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The number of people in employment from April to June was 28.94 million, up 42,000 over the quarter, and up 240,000 over the year.

The employment rate for people of working age was 74.6% for the three months ending in June 2006, down 0.1% over the quarter, and down 0.2% over the year.

The unemployment rate was 5.5%, up 0.3% over the quarter and up 0.7% over the year, ONS figures showed.

Average earnings rose 4.3% in the year to June, up 0.2% from the previous month.

Dr John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said the figures pointed to a recovering jobs market with more people in full-time jobs on permanent contracts.

“The demand for labour is starting to pick up after the hiatus at the end of last year,” he said.

“According to today’s ONS figures, not only are there more people in employment but, in a break with the recent trend, all the new jobs are going to full-time employees.”

UK unemployment at its highest level for six years

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