Latest figures show unemployment is rising

Ben Brettell

Ben Brettell

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that unemployment is rising, both nationally and in the south west.

UK unemployment rose 25,000 in the second quarter, the first time it has increased in two consecutive months for two years.

Meanwhile wage growth slowed to 2.4% as compared with 3.2% the previous month.

While disappointing, these figures should not prove cause for concern says a leading economist.

Ben Brettell, Senior Economist, Hargreaves Lansdown comments: “The magnitude of the rise in unemployment was small enough to leave the overall rate unchanged at 5.6%, and the pace of job creation has been expected to slow for some time as the recovery matures.

“Growth in pay, although slower, remains robust, and combined with zero inflation this is good news for the UK consumer. This in turn should be positive for economic growth, which I expect to pick up during the second half of the year.

“It is possible that the disappointing labour market performance in the second quarter was due to firms postponing hiring new workers because of uncertainty over May’s election.

“If that is the case, we should see a resumption of the labour market recovery in the third quarter.”