The number of unemployed people in the UK rose to 1.85 million for the period of April to June, a rise of 25,000 from the previous quarter.

The figure has risen for two consecutive months for the first time in two years.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) said the most recent figures also showed a slowdown in earnings growth, where the rate of increase including bonuses was 2.4% for the quarter, a fall of 0.8% from the previous three months.

ONS statistician David Freeman commented:

“This is now the second consecutive time we’ve reported fewer people in work on the quarter.

“While it’s too early to conclude that the jobs market is levelling off, these figures certainly strengthen that possibility. Growth in pay, however, remains solid.”

Ignoring the fall in employment, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith talked about how the unemployment situation has improved since the financial collapse.

He said:

“Thanks to our long term economic plan we have already seen two million more people in jobs since 2010.

“On top of that, today’s figures show job vacancies at a near record high – evidence of the continued confidence of British businesses, and potential for further growth in the UK economy.”

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