By Max Clarke

As was widely expected, UK unemployment has edged up by 0.1% over the past quarter to reach 2.49 million.

Despite the surprise drop seen in June, analysts had widely anticipated the rise as growth in the Eurozone all but ground to a halt over the last quarter and inflation continues to rise.

With much of Britain’s largest export market growing by an average of just 0.2%, and two trillion-dollar economies teetering on the edge of collapse, Britain’s exporters have been prevented from growth and from boosting headcount.

Inflation, which the ONS’ figures yesterday confirmed had risen again, continued to further erode the UK’s economic recovery. In the face of rising costs and muted wage growth, households are reigning in their expenditures and spending less on retail. The result has been three consecutive quarters of retail employment decline, adding the slight gains in unemployment seen over the past quarter.

As the public sector begins to shrink, analysts predicted it would disproportionately affect women: numbers of jobless women consequently jumped by 21,000 to top 1.05 million- the largest figure since 1988.

Most alarming has been the rise, to 1.23 million, of long-term unemployment, whilst a rise in earnings growth from 2.3% in May to 2.6% can be viewed as positive.
The number of jobseeker’s allowance claimants swelled by 37,000 in June following a rise of 20,000 in May.

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