Employment has hit record highs in the UK as the market was boosted by higher numbers of working women and self-employed workers, new figures reveal.
The number of people in employment rose by 115,000 to 32.81 million in the three months to June, reaching a new high for people in work, the Office for National Statistics said.
However, unemployment also significantly increased, as fewer people were considered economically inactive.
The UK’s level of unemployment rose 31,000 to 1.33 million for the quarter, as the rate of unemployment increased to 3.9%.
The rise in unemployment was the biggest the UK has seen since 2017.
Both unemployment and employment rose, as the number of people aged between 16 and 64 considered economically inactive continued to slide, falling by 47,000 to 8.56 million for the period.
The rise in employment was significantly higher than economists predicted, having forecast an increase of 65,000, but the rate of unemployment was also higher than expected.
The percentage of women aged between 16 and 64 in work rose to 72.1%, the highest rate on record.
Job vacancies fell by 20,000 to 820,000 over the period, the lowest figure in more than a year.
Average earnings, which include bonuses, increased by 3.7% compared with 3.4% in the previous month.
The ONS said that in real terms – after adjusting for inflation – total pay is estimated to have increased by 1.8% compared with a year earlier.
Matt Hughes, deputy head of labour market statistics for the ONS, said: “Employment continues to increase, with three-quarters of this year’s growth being due to more women working.
“However, the number of vacancies has been falling for six months, with fewer now than there were this time last year.
“Excluding bonuses, real wages are growing at their fastest in nearly four years, but pay levels still have not returned to their pre-downturn peak.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?