Author Topic: Massage and manipulation of the stats no longer cutting it?  (Read 1136 times)

Offline Ellipses

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Umemployment has risen for the first time in the UK for more than two years, official figures showed today.

The number of jobless increased by 15,000 to 1.85 million in the three months to May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

It was the first quarterly increase in the number since the three months to March 2013.

ONS statistician Nick Palmer said: "It's possible that the rate of improvement in the labour market that we have seen over the last three years may have eased off, though it is too early to be certain."

The unemployment rate was 5.6% after sinking to 5.5% in the three months to April.

Numbers claiming unemployment-related benefit in June rose by 7,000 to 804,200, the first monthly increase since October 2012.

Speculation about the reason for the rise in unemployment may focus on the fact that the figures cover a period of business uncertainty in the run-up to the general election.

Statisticians said they had no anecdotal evidence to either support or discount the theory. ;)

The worsening jobs picture may also be linked to a weaker-than-expected period of economic growth at the start of 2015, but statisticians were also unable to comment on this.

Today's data showed the number of those classed as economically inactive rose by 30,000 to 9.02 million in the three months to May.