United Kingdom unemployment holds at 42-year low

Andrew Cummings
October 18, 2017

At the same time, average weekly earnings in real terms fell by 0.4 percent on the previous year excluding bonuses, and by a slightly smaller 0.3 percent when bonuses were taken into consideration.

While the headline rate didn't change, unemployment did fall in the three months to August, with 52,000 fewer people out of work.

In total, there are 32.1 million people at work in the United Kingdom, according to the figures, 94,000 more than in the March to May period.

The unemployment rate among women is now at a record low of 4.2 percent, said ONS.

The news will increase expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates on 2 November.

Economists have previously warned the squeeze on households was being exacerbated by subdued wage growth and data released yesterday showed inflation jumped to the highest level since April 2012.

"I still think that the unemployment rate will fall to 4.1pc by Christmas", said Alan Clarke, economist at Scotiabank.

ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: "Many labour market measures continue to strengthen". Employment growth in the latest three-month period was driven mainly by women, with a corresponding drop in inactivity.

Other data showed that the number of people classed as economically inactive fell by 17,000 over the latest quarter to 8.8 million, giving a record low rate of 21.4 per cent.

Inflation in the United Kingdom has risen to its highest level in five years, squeezing the spending power of households but giving a boost to pensioners who will enjoy an increase in their state income.

"Our economy is helping to create full time, permanent jobs which are giving people across the United Kingdom the chance of securing a reliable income", said Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds. This is the sixth month in a row that prices have risen faster than wages. Meanwhile, monthly input price inflation eased notably to 0.4 percent from 2.3 percent.

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