Unemployment in the UK rises to 159,000

Unemployment in the UK rises to 159,000

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The increase in joblessness in the UK has resulted in a rise in unemployment, with more people losing their jobs over the summer.

UK unemployment rose by 159,000 in the last quarter, putting the unemployment rate at 1.464m.

The increase in joblessness was mostly driven by people unemployed for up to 12 months.

That lifted the jobless rate to 4.3% in the May-July quarter, up from 4.2% a month ago and 3.8% in the previous quarter.

The fall in employment fell due to a drop in self-employed workers, pulling the employment rate down to 75.5% in May to July 2023, 0.5 percent lower than February to April 2023.

But there is better news on pay this morning - total pay, including bonuses, rose by 8.5% per year in the May-July quarter, helped by one-off bonuses to NHS and Civil Services workers this summer.

The figure used to set the state pension's growth next April could be significant for millions of pensioners, as this earnings figure was used to set the rise in the state pension the following April.

The average pay grew by 7.8 percent, the same as last month - and the highest since comparable records began in 2001.

In July, the CPI inflation rate dropped to 6.8%, demonstrating that wages are rising more than prices again, after a long squeeze due to the surge in inflation last year.

Fantastic news for households, but it might add to the pressure on the Bank of England to keep raising interest rates to fight inflationary pressures.

Today is the last day of trading for Wilko stores in the UK, following the retail chain's collapse.

Stores including those in Aldershot, Cardiff, Falmouth, Liverpool and Stafford are among those shutting today, with a further 28 closing on Thursday.

Unions yesterday reported that Wilko's 400-plus stores are to close with the loss of more than 12,000 jobs, after talks with potential buyers failed to reach a rescue deal.

We'll find out on Monday whether grocery inflation in recent weeks has eased, given Kantar's latest data on the supermarket sector.