UK jobless rate hits 4.3%, but wage growth beats inflation


UK unemployment has risen, as more people lost their jobs over the summer.

The latest labour market report, just released, shows that UK unemployment rose by 159,000 in the last quarter, taking the jobless total up to 1.464m.

The increase in unemployment was largely 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.

Employment fell, due to a drop in full-time self-employed workers, pulling the employment rate down to 75.5% in May to July 2023, 0.5 percentage points lower than February to April 2023.

But there’s 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 bonus payments to NHS and Civil Service workers this summer.

That could be significant for millions of pensioners, as this earnings figure is used to set the rise in the state pension the following April.

Regular pay (which excludes bonuses) grew by 7.8%, the same as last month – and the highest since comparable records began in 2001.