Claimant count hit new low but jobless total rises

Aug 11 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The UK's level of unemployment increased last month by 27,000 despite a fall in the number of people claiming jobless benefits.

The latest official figures show that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit last month fell for the 14th month running by 13,700. The claimant count of 835,200 is the lowest since July 1975.

But the overall unemployment total rose by 27,000 between April and June reaching 1.44m, according to the Office for National Statistics. The rise is the biggest for more than a year and takes the total to the highest since last Christmas.

The unemployment rate, covering the latest quarter to June also increased by 0.1 per cent to 4.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, average earnings, including bonuses, rose by 4.4 per cent in the year to June.