UK unemployment rose by 21,000 to 1.7 million between December and February, according to latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.
The unemployment rate stood at 5.1%, down from 5.6% at the same time last year.
The rise in unemployment is the first increase since the May-July period of last year.
ONS statistician Nick Palmer said: “It’s too soon to be certain, but with unemployment up for the first time since mid-2015 – and employment seeing its slowest rise since that period – it’s possible that recent improvements in the labour market may be easing off.”
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