Surprise 15,000 increase in unemployment largely driven by lack of new part-time roles and fall in self-employment
UK unemployment rose by 15,000 between March and May 2015, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Over the same period total employment fell by 67,000 to 30.98 million. This represents the first quarter in which total employment has fallen since April 2013.
Despite the overall fall, the number of people in full-time work has increased by 272,000. But part-time work has seen a dip of 7,000, indicating a trend in which casual labour is in less demand than in previous periods.
There was better news around pay, which has risen by 2.8% – the fasted increase since 2009. If bonuses are included this rate of growth climbs even higher to 3.2%.
Work and pensions minister Priti Patel told the BBC that, with vacancies reaching 700,000, “there are jobs out there”.
CBI director of employment Neil Carberry commented that, even though the figures are “disappointing”, it is “largely due to reductions among those self-employed”.
“This fall must be seen against the backdrop of strong employment growth since the end of 2013, so it is far too early to draw conclusions,” he said. “Nevertheless, it offers a timely reminder of the importance of Government treading carefully in the labour market and protecting the flexibility that gives Britain a great record on jobs.”