Unemployment rose by 0.1% to 4.4% in the three months to December 2017, according to the latest report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Approximately two-thirds of the net increase, which at 46,000 took the number of unemployed to 1.47 million, has been attributed to young people.
Today's report reads: "Approximately two-thirds of the net increase in unemployment can be attributed to the people in the younger age groups, namely 16 to 17 and 18- to 24-year-olds. On the one hand, these age groups exhibit higher volatility. On the other, the direction of the change was consistent across all age groups, which raises a question of whether unemployment reached its minimum and will either grow or remain at a broadly stable level in 2018. It is worth remembering that the unemployment rate is still 0.4 percentage points lower than in the three months to December 2016."
The report also highlighted a slowdown in the growth of EU workers among the UK labour force.
It states: "A rather expected development in the labour market over the course of 2017 was a slowdown in the growth of the number of the EU workers. At this point it is worth stressing that these data do not show recent migration. Nor do they show new jobs. Rather, the figures show the net effect of people entering employment less the people leaving employment, in each of the categories by nationality. The number of people entering or leaving employment is much larger than the net changes."
The number of people in employment did increase by 88,000 to 32.2 million, compared to the previous quarter.
The increase was driven by the number of full-time employees, which increased by 136,000.
Chief executive of the Association of Licenced Multiple Retailers Kate Nicholls said: "With unemployment still low, it is absolutely vital that the Government acts to ensure businesses continue to have access to labour to meet predicted growth. This means providing clarity and certainty on the future status of non-UK EU workers and adopting a future immigration policy that understands and accommodates the challenges and opportunities facing UK businesses."
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