Unemployment up for the first time since mid-2015, over 1.7 million people looking for jobs

UK unemployment rose by 21,000 to 1.7 million between December and February, according to latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.

The unemployment rate stood at 5.1%, down from 5.6% at the same time last year.

The rise in unemployment is the first increase since the May-July period of last year.

ONS statistician Nick Palmer said: “It’s too soon to be certain, but with unemployment up for the first time since mid-2015 - and employment seeing its slowest rise since that period - it’s possible that recent improvements in the labour market may be easing off.”

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