Wage rates rose at the fastest rate in nearly two-and-a-half years in the three months to January (2.6%). During January, unemployment fell to 4.3%.
Bank of England officials have highlighted accelerating wage growth as one reason for the shift in monetary policy. Wage growth has been the missing point int eh UK’s post-recovery in the labour market.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in their main points of the report, “There were 1.45 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 24,000 more than for August to October 2017 but 127,000 fewer than for a year earlier.”
This mirrored analysts’ predictions of a 2.6% rise also.
Unemployments in January dropped to 4.3% from the 4.4% rate in December. This is the lowest the unemployment rate has been since 1975.
The drop in unemployment was despite a slight rise in the people unemployed. This is due to employment rising compared to the three months from October 2017.
The current UK employment rate is at 75.3%, the highest since 1971.
For the three months to the end of December 2017, the unemployment rate rose for the first time in two years from 4.3% to 4.4%. This didn’t halt the number in employment, however, whihc rose by 88,000 for the period.
John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said the unexpected rise at that time was “not a sign of labour market weakness” because there was a “healthy rise in total employment”.
The unemployment figure since then has decreased to the same 4.3% for the three months to December 2017.
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