Unemployment has risen in Cumbria for the second month in a row in January.

Nationally, unemployment unexpectedly rose for the first time in two years. Figures for the final quarter of 2017 showed an increase of 46,000 to 1.47 million.

Ian Brinkley, acting chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said there were reasons to be positive.

“The substantial and unexpected rise in unemployment is a clear warning that the UK labour market may be running out of steam, but there are reasons to believe that this is a one-off, as opposed to the beginning of a larger employment crisis,” he said.

“The strengthening of wage growth is also a welcome sign as, when coupled with likely falls in inflation, it opens up the possibility of real wage growth in the coming months, which will be a great relief to those workers who have seen their pay packets squeezed for months on end.”