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ONS labour market statistics: UK jobs market cools as unemployment heats up By Invezz

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This morning, the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the country’s latest unemployment and employment figures.

The period in question was undoubtedly an embattled one for the labour landscape. In March alone, the ONS estimated that 22,000 working days were lost because of labour disputes across the UK.

Joblessness up

From January to March 2024, the unemployment rate stood at 4.3%, up 0.3 percentage points year-on-year.

This was up marginally from the 4.2% estimated for the quarter last month, and up significantly from the previous quarter’s amount of 3.8%.

This comes hot on the heels of April’s unemployment numbers, with an estimated 156,000 jobs lost – which was the highest unemployment rate in six months.

Employment rates down as jobs market cools

During the same period, employment rates decreased 0.8 percentage points to 74.5% for the quarter.

In total, the number of employed people dropped by 178 000.

The early estimate of payrolled employees for April 2024 decreased by 85,000 (0.3%) month-to- month but increased by 129,000 (0.4%) on the year, to 30.2 million.

Vacancies reaching crisis point in the UK

However, even with more unemployed, the number jobs on offer also declined. In February to April 2024, the estimated number of vacancies in the UK decreased by 26,000 on the quarter to 898,000.

This is the 22nd consecutive month that job vacancies have declined – a period spanning almost two years of continued slackening for the UK labour market.

However, the ONS took pains to confirm that these figures were “still above pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels.”

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This article first appeared on Invezz.com

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