UK unemployment ticks up as job vacancies shrink

UK unemployment ticks up as job vacancies shrink

The UK’s unemployment rate has risen again and vacancies are shrinking, according to figures which suggest the country’s job market is cooling.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the UK’s jobless rate increased to 4.3% between January and March, up from 4.2%.

The number of vacancies also continued to slow meaning more unemployed people are competing for the same jobs.

Data also shows that wage growth remained at 6%, the ONS said.

It had been expected to slow to 5.9% in the first three months of this year. The figure will be closely watched by the Bank of England to decide if and when interest rates can be cut.

At the most recent rate-setting meeting, Bank governor Andrew Bailey said he was “optimistic that things are moving in the right direction”, though he added that a fall in borrowing costs was “not a fait accompli”.

Rates have been 5.25% since last August, the highest level in 16 years.

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