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UK unemployment rate highest for more than two years

LONDON, June 6 (KUNA) -- The unemployment rate has unexpectedly risen to its highest level for two and a half years, official figures show, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
The rate climbed to 4.4% in the three months to April, the highest since September 2021.
Despite the increase, wage growth remained strong, with earnings continuing to rise faster than prices.
"This month's figures continue to show signs that the labour market may be cooling, with the number of vacancies still falling and unemployment rising, though earnings growth remains relatively strong," the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Regular earnings - which exclude bonuses - rose at an annual pace of 6%, the ONS said, unchanged from the previous month.
However, when the impact of inflation is stripped out, pay increased at an annual pace of 2.9%, the highest since August 2021.
While the ONS has urged caution about the unemployment figures because its survey sample is small, they are backed up by the more recent figures on employersآ’ payrolls, which show the number of employees dropped by 36,000 between March and April, and continued to drop in May.
The number of job vacancies also fell, down by 9,000 to 904,000.
The ONS figures, external showed that 22.3% of working-age adults in the UK are deemed not to be actively looking for work, which is more than nine million people.
Concerns have been raised over worker shortages affecting the UK economy, and the inactivity rate among adults has remained at a persistently high level in recent years since it first urged during the pandemic.(end) nbs.rk