The figure has risen from 4.3% to 4.4% for the three months to the end of December, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The 0.1% increase didn’t halt the total number of people in employment, however, with the figure rising to 88,000. The number in unemployment rose by 46,000 to 1.47 million compared the previous three months.
Unemployment rates are calculated by people who are registered looking for work as a proportion of the working age population.
John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said the unexpected rise “is not a sign of labour market weakness” because there was a “healthy rise in total employment”.
Wages, on average, grew by 2.5%, up from 2.4% the previous month. This increase remained below inflation.
You can view the ONS report here.