Unemployment nudges up for seventh consecutive month

Unemployment levels in the UK have risen for a seventh month in a row, but the long-term trend is flat, official figures show.

The number of people out of work rose 12,000 to 1.42 million in the quarter to August, while those claiming benefit rose 1,600 to 866,200 last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

However, quarterly unemployment levels were flat at 4.7% – the lowest level for 30 years.

Job vacancies in the three months to August fell 7,400 to 631,700.

In the three months to the end of July, 28.73 million people were in work – 315,000 people more than at the same time last year and equivalent to 74.8% of the working age population.

The ONS statistics also reveal that – excluding bonuses – average salaries rose by 3.9% in July, down from 4% the previous month.

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