UK unemployment rate rises to 3.9% as company payrolls shrink; German investor morale plunges – business live

Introduction: UK unemployment rate rises, as payroll numbers fall

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The UK’s unemployment rate has risen, with companies shedding workers as the jobs market cools, and more people look for work.

Figures just released by the Office for National Statistics show that the UK’s jobless rate rose to 3.9% in the January-March quarter, up from 3.8% a month earlier.

The increase in unemployment was largely driven by people unemployed for over 12 months, the ONS says.

More timely data shows that firms cut their payrolls by 136,000 in April, to 29.8 million.

This is the first fall in total payrolled employees since February 2021, the ONS says (adding that the data may be revised next month).

A sign that the economy has lost momentum, with higher interest rates weighing on demand.

In another sign that the labour market is weakening, the number of vacancies fell by 55,000 on the quarter to…

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This article was written by Graeme Wearden and originally published on