By Daniel Hunter

The number of people in employment has fallen and the number of unemployed people has risen on a quarterly basis for the second month running, according to the labour market statistics released today, perhaps suggesting that the four-year long UK jobs boom is coming to an end.

With over 31 million people in work, employment is still at near record levels but there are 63,000 fewer people in work than in the previous quarter. The statistics show that employment fell particularly among male employees, with 72,000 fewer employed in the April to June quarter compared with March to May 2015. Part-time employees were also down 92,000 on the quarter and there were 56,000 fewer people aged over 65 in work.

Commenting on the figures, Jim Hillage, Director of Research at the Institute for Employment Studies, said:

"These figures are interesting, coming on the back of the surprise fall recorded last month, and suggest that the labour market may be going into reverse. The key figure is the total of number of hours worked in the economy, which fell by 0.2 per cent on the quarter.

"The silver lining though is that with the economy still growing, static employment growth indicates that productivity is likely to start rising significantly."