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Unemployment has increased even though the number of people in work is at record levels, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The jobless total rose by 10,000 in the quarter to August to 1.66 million, the first jump since the turn of the year.

The claimant count, including those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, also increased last month - up by 700 to a total of 776,400.

It was the sixth time in the last seven months that the figure has increased. But employment was up by 106,000 in the latest quarter to almost 32 million, the highest since records began in 1971.

The (ONS) said its data also showed a 65,000 fall in the number of people classed as economically active, down to a joint record low rate of 21.5 per cent, or 8.8 million.

The figure includes people on long term sick leave, looking after a relative or those who have given up looking for a job.

The ONS noted the statistics cover two months after the European Union referendum result.

Average earnings increased by 2.3 per cent in the year to August, down by 0.1 per cent on the previous month.

There were 34.4 million jobs in June, half a million more than in June 2015.