United Kingdom unemployment rate falls to 42-year low but wages subdued

Marco Green
July 12, 2017

But total average wage growth for the three-month period softened to 1.8% from 2.1%, though this was expected. However, inflation had hit an nearly four-year high of 2.9% in May.

United Kingdom unemployment fell by 64,000 to 1.49 million in the three months to May, official figures show.

The employment rate, the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work, was 74.9 percent, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

However, both figures are still well below the UK's inflation figure of 2.9 per cent, meaning workers are continuing to experience a real-terms fall in wages.

Scotland's unemployment rate has fallen faster than any other part of the United Kingdom, the Office for National Statistics has announced.

The Office for Nationals Statistics (ONS) said average earnings grew by 1.8% in the year to May, down by 0.3% on the previous month.

"There were 32.01 million people in work, 175,000 more than for December 2016 to February 2017 and 324,000 more than for a year earlier", the ONS said. Despite dodging the interest rate debate yesterday during a speech at Aberdeen, in an interview for local Scottish newspaper the Press and Journal released overnight, Broadbent said that while there was reason to see the bank moving towards higher rates, there were "a lot of imponderables".

The unemployment rate also dropped by 0.2% on the quarter to 4.5%.

"The data certainly fuel suspicions that the Bank of England will be in no hurry to raise interest rates; there's a strong argument that hiking borrowing costs at a time of falling real pay and heightened uncertainty regarding the economic and political outlooks would merely introduce another headwind to an already-struggling economy", Williamson said.

Inflation has spiked due to the slump in the pound in the wake of last year's Brexit vote.

The number of people on the so-called claimant count increased by 6,000 last month to 829,000.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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