UK jobs market ‘could be cooling off’

The UK unemployment total has fallen slightly, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said the jobs market could be “cooling off”.

Unemployment fell to 1.69 million between January and March, down 2,000 from the previous quarter.

The jobless rate remained at 5.1%, the ONS said.

There were 31.58 million people in work, up 44,000 from the previous quarter. That took the employment rate to a record high of 74.2%.

But the number of job vacancies dropped by 18,000 to 745,000, the ONS added, marking the first fall for almost a year.

David Freeman, a senior statistician at the ONS, said: “The employment rate has hit another record high, but this time the increase is quite modest.

“With unemployment very little changed, that is further evidence the jobs market could be cooling off.”

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Economy, General