The number of Britons claiming unemployment benefit in June saw its biggest jump in two years raising concerns about the pace of economic recovery there.
However, as in past months the broader International Labour Organisation measure of employment was more encouraging. That supports the government’s view that private sector job creation will offset the effect of massive public spending cuts.
The number of people without a job on this internationally comparable measure fell by 26,000 in the three months to May to 2.452 million, the Office for National Statistics said. The jobless rate held at 7.7 percent of the workforce as expected, and has not been lower in the past two years.
Numbers of people claiming jobless benefit rose by 24,500 last month, well above economists’ forecasts of an increase of 15,000 and the fourth consecutive monthly rise. Combined with an upward revision to May’s
British unemployment rose less than in many other developed countries during the financial crisis, but economists are worried about the outlook due to public sector job cuts and a sluggish recovery.
The statistics office said that part of the disparity was due to changes to the benefits available to lone parents, which meant more women were moving on to the jobless claimant count measure.