Unemployment in the UK rose for the first time in seven months, suggesting that the labour market has begun to cool. Work and Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb, appreciates that the hit figure of 1.7 million people unemployed is a signal that uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum is affecting jobs. The number of people looking for a job grew by 21,000 between December 2015 and February this year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Statistics show signs of wage pressure as well. Government’s efforts to keep the economy up had not had the desired outcome. The measure of wages excluding bonuses remained unchanged in the last three months to 2.2 per cent. Total compensation was moderate at 1.8 per cent versus 2.1 per cent in the previous period.
All these results come from a labor market awaiting for the referendum that will decide the fate of Britain. The UK economist Kallum Pickering, of Berenberg Bank, considers that Brexit uncertainty may begin to feature more prominently in the coming months. There is a current modest risk of unemployment rising and wage gains stagnating. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning that even though the number of people unemployed increased, so did the number of people with jobs. Employment grew by 20,000 to 31.41 million people during the period.