United Kingdom unemployment rises for first time in two years, says ONS
22 February, 2018, 00:57 | Author: Franklin Nunez
The East of England saw an increase of 0.6% in unemployment up to 4.2% of 16 to 64-year-olds in the period from October to December, compared to July to September.
British households lost spending power previous year due to a jump in inflation, caused by the post-Brexit vote fall in the pound, and only weak wage growth.
The headline rate rose by 0.1 percentage points to 4.4 per cent, up from 4.3 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), although unemployment has actually been rising over the past three months if measured to a higher degree of precision.
There was also a better-than-expected rise in wages, although it still trails behind inflation, which stood at 3 percent in December, 2017.
The fact that there was a rise in unemployment at the same time as rising employment was explained by the fact that the number of economically inactive people - those not seeking or available to work - fell over the period. The BoE expects pay to pick up soon, a big reason why it says interest rates are likely to rise faster and to a greater extent than it thought until recently. And productivity growth has seen its strongest two quarters since the 2008 recession. "These figures simply look at the number of people in work and aren't a measure of migration".
Average earnings increased by 2.5% in the year to December, unchanged from the previous month.
The squeeze on United Kingdom households continues with a lethal cocktail of rising prices, paltry pay growth and record low interest rates. And private sector pay growth accelerated to 2.6% from 2.3%. Private- sector pay gains accelerated to 2.6 percent from 2.5 percent.
A total of 1.47m people are unemployed, the Office for National Statistics said, taking the jobless rate to 4.4pc, an unexpected rise from 4.3pc previously. The number of Eastern European workers fell.
Separate figures showed that Britain's government recorded a January budget surplus of 10 billion pounds (about $14 billion), slightly bigger than forecast, helped by a surge of income tax receipts that typically comes at the start of the calendar year.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) sent the pound a cent lower against the United States dollar to just over $1.39.
The finance ministry said Wednesday's figures were considered strong.
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