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UK unemployment increases

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UK unemployment increases

UK unemployment increases
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The UK's unemployment rate has risen for the first time since 2016 and women are the hardest hit, the figures suggest.

According to the Office for National Statistics, an extra 46,000 people joined the jobless total in the last quarter of 2017, edging it up to 4.4 percent. Among them are 35,000 women who have either lost their jobs, or have returned to the labour market in the last few months and who haven't yet found employment.

But it's not all bad news. Although it has risen, the jobless rate remains low. And productivity growth has seen its strongest two quarters since the 2008 recession.

There was also a better-than-expected rise in wages, although it still trails behind inflation, which stood at 3 percent in December, 2017. Earnings not including bonuses rose by 2.5 percent year-on-year.