Thursday, 15 November, 2018

UK Jobless Rate Rises In Q4

UK workers UK Jobless Rate Rises In Q4
Russell Knight | 21 February, 2018, 14:43

The UK rate was 4.4%, a quarterly rise but down on a year ago, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

City of London analysts had expected no change in the rate.

Unemployment has risen for the first time in more than a year as more people left the workforce than found work in the final months of 2017, raising fears that Britain's jobs boom may be cooling.

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".

"Rising employment this past year was largely driven by United Kingdom nationals".

That's up from the previous month's equivalent rate of 2.3 percent.

The ILO unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points to 4.4% in three months to December.

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United Kingdom pay growth is still slower than inflation, which is running at 3 percent.

Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 2.5 percent year on year against expectations for a 2.4 percent rise.

Separate ONS figures showed Britain's government recorded a January budget surplus of 10 billion pounds, slightly bigger than forecast and helped by a seasonal surge of income tax receipts at the start of the year. In particular, fewer citizens from eastern European countries were in work than in the year before.

That chimed with overall migration data that show a drop in net migration flows from the European Union into the United Kingdom since the Brexit vote.

The O.N.S. also published its first estimate for productivity in the fourth quarter.

Output per hour gained 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter following a 0.9 percent gain in the previous three months, which was the most in six years. That marked the strongest two quarters for productivity since the 2008-9 recession, the O.N.S. said.

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