Unemployment rate falls but benefit claims increase

The number of jobless people in the UK is continuing to fall, yet more people claim unemployment benefits, official figures show.

Unemployment fell by 4,000 to 1.43 million in the March to May period, but the number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased by 8,800 last month to 864,900, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

It was the fifth month running when the number of claimants rose, the longest sequence of monthly rises since 1992.

Employment minister Margaret Hodge said compared to a year ago there were “more people working, unemployment is broadly unchanged and there are fewer people claiming out-of-work benefits”.

She said the reason the data had provided a “mixed picture” was because recent increases in employment had “not shown through this quarter”.

John Philpott, CIPD chief economist, said the Bank of England should cut UK interest rates in August to ensure the economy remains stable.

“The spring labour market figures are easily the weakest for some time. Only in the public sector is employment and pay still buoyant,” he said.

“An August cut in interest rates of at least a quarter of one percent would help avert a jobs squeeze and greatly reduce the chances of the economy suffering a hard landing. But any further delay could prove costly.”

Comments are closed.