16th February 2011
The number of those claiming jobless benefits stood at 1.46 million at the end of January, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Unemployment also increased on a long-term basis, rising by 44,000 in the three months to December to hit 2.49 million, as the economy contracted.
The Guardian says the weaker-than-expected figures underline the challenge facing the government in restoring the feelgood factor to voters already battered by tough economic times.
It also points out that women appear to be bearing the brunt of job losses: the number of men claiming unemployment benefit fell 5,400 between December and January, while women claimants rose by 7,800.
On the Telegraph Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said the slow down in wage growth was "rare good news" for the Bank of England.
He said: "This indicates that higher inflation and rising household inflation expectations are so far not feeding through to push up wages."
He added: "We expect wage growth will remain muted due to workers' weak bargaining position given high and likely to rise unemployment. This is a key factor underpinning our belief that the Bank of England will only raise interest rates gradually even if they act in the near term, which is looking increasingly likely."
On Citywire it was reported that sterling, weakened 0.42% against the euro, to €1.19 on the news. The yield on ten-year gilts, a benchmark often used to price long-term commercial borrowing, rose to 3.83%.
On the Guardian readers questioned commentators' claims that the rise was unexpected.
petercs said" "This may have been unexpected by you (article's author) but everyone, who reads the Guardian, have read about job cuts."
Corinthian11 adds: "Unexpected who by – inhabitants of the Planet Zog?
The slow rise in unemployment will continue until April and then it will really accelerate as the coalition's policies hit home."
davidabsalom points out that the rise could be seasonal: "oesn't unemployment usually go up in January when the Christmas jobs end?"
ByGeorge said the number of younger people unemployed was the most shocking aspect of the announcement. "Almost 1 million – yes 1 million – 16-24 year olds unemployed, which is a scandal. At the same time they are expecting people to work longer. If you didn't know better you'd say it was deliberate.
"Next stop – scrapping the minimum wage as a solution to the unemployment problem- just wait and see."
On the Telegraph mbaproperty pointed out that the effect of the government's austerity programme had yet to take hold.
"I have been saying unemployment would be an issue and we havnt even had the majority of austerity cuts yet. We are going to have poor Q3 ansd Q4 growth figures. Given this an interest rate rise would be rather stupid as they detrimentally effect growth. Fingers crossed they put rates up then can enjoy a decade of poor growth, high unemployment and zero % interest rates :)"
mrgreedy posted on the subject of job creation: "Go out and create jobs by starting a business. There's no such thing as a magic job machine. Find something that you're good at and that people need and get on with it."