The number of unemployed people in Yorkshire increased by 9,000 in the last three months, despite a national record being set for the number of people in work.
Some 160,000 people in the region were jobless between June and August as Yorkshire’s unemployment rate remained unchanged on the previous quarter at 5.9 per cent.
Nationally, in the same three-month period, unemployment grew by 10,000 to 1.66 million, the first rise since the start of the year. Meanwhile, employment was also up, by 106,000 to almost 32 million, the highest since records began in 1971.
Analysts say the jobless figure grew because more people started seeking work. Conversely the employment rate was boosted because of a 65,000 fall in the number of people who were classed as “economically active”, which reached a joint record low rate of 21.5 per cent.
That figure includes people on long-term sick leave, looking after a relative or those who have given up looking for a job.
The claimant count, including those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, increased - up by 700 to 776,400. It was the sixth time in the last seven months that the figure has increased.
The figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show average earnings increased by 2.3 per cent in the year to August, down by 0.1 per cent on the previous month.
ONS statistician Nick Palmer said: “These figures show that employment continued to grow over the summer and vacancies remain at high levels, suggesting continuing confidence in the economy. While there was also a small rise in the headline unemployment level, that was accompanied by more people actively seeking work.”
Unemployment is 118,000 lower than a year ago despite the latest rise, which was the first since the quarter to February, giving a jobless rate of 4.9 per cent.
The latest increase was due to a 23,000 rise in unemployed women, compared with a 12,000 fall among men.
There were 34.4 million jobs in June - half a million more than the previous year.
Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: “Once again it’s great news for Britain as the employment rate remains at a record high, with more than 31.8 million men and women in work.
“But there’s more to do, particularly when it comes to supporting young people into employment.
“We want to build a solid base for the future; that’s why today I have announced the rollout of our Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools scheme in England, which will give tens of thousands of young people help in taking their first steps into the world of work.”
But the figures were described as “concerning” by the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Debbie Abrahams, who said: “When taken with the wide regional and gender differences in employment rates, and inflation rising, there is a real risk to the living standards of British people under this failing Tory Government.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said family’s income was under pressure because of weak pay growth and rising inflation.
He added: “The worry is that families are heading towards another fall in living standards.”
Josh Hardie, deputy director general of the CBI, said: “We’ve seen a marginal increase in unemployment. But with employment still rising and the unemployment rate at an 11-year low, the overall picture is resilient.”