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UK unemployment nears three-year high, wage growth firm as election looms

·1 min

U.K. unemployment unexpectedly rose between February and April to its highest level since September 2021. Wage growth excluding bonuses remained at 6%. This presents a concern for the Bank of England as it considers when to reduce interest rates. The data comes amid a heated general election campaign where the economy is a key issue. The unemployment rate for February to April rose to 4.4%, up from 4.3% in the previous quarter. The number of payrolled employees was up 0.6% year-on-year in May. Wage growth, including bonuses, remained well above the rate of inflation. The Bank of England will likely be cautious about cutting rates in the near future.