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Rise in UK jobless rate

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The British labor market showed further signs of slowdown in April with a rise in the unemployment rate. A Reuters poll of economists had predicted that the unemployment rate would remain stable.

The Office for National Statistics said: “This month’s figures continue to show signs that the labor market may be cooling, with the number of job vacancies continuing to fall and unemployment rising, although earnings growth remains relatively strong.”

The data showed that the number of employed people fell by 207,000 since the end of 2023, while unemployment increased by 190,000. The opposition Labour Party is heading for victory in the national elections scheduled for July 4, according to opinion polls.

The inactivity rate in Britain – which measures people who are not working and not seeking work – rose to 22.3%, its highest level since mid-2015, highlighting what the Bank of England considers a source of inflation in the labor market.

Wage growth data, a key measure of inflation for the Bank of England, which is set to announce its next policy decision on June 20, showed that average weekly earnings excluding bonuses rose by 6.0% in the three months to the end of April compared to the same period last year.

Wage growth in the private sector, which the Bank of England closely monitors as a measure of domestic inflation, slowed to 5.8% from 5.9% in the three months to April.

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