Unemployment increases slightly in first quarter

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the employment rate for those aged 16-64 fell by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of the year, when compared with the final three months of 2012.

Between January and March 2013, the UK unemployment rate increased to 7.8 per cent, a 0.1 per cent increase on the previous quarter. The number of unemployed grew by 15,000 to 2.52 million.

Compared with Q1 2012, growth in regular pay was 0.8 per cent, the lowest growth rate recorded since 2001. Total pay increased by 0.4 per cent.