United Kingdom Unemployment January 2017

United Kingdom

United Kingdom: Unemployment dips to lowest rate since 1975

March 16, 2017

Jobless claims decreased by 11,300 in February compared to the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The print followed the revised 41,400 drop in jobless claims recorded in January (previously reported: 42,400 drop) and undershot market expectations of a 5,000 fall.

The unemployment rate—derived from a different survey—was 4.7% in January (the latest period for which data is available), down from 4.8% in December and surprising analysts, who had banked on the rate staying at 4.8%. The UK labor market has so far remained highly resilient despite the uncertainty generated following last year’s EU referendum. The overall figure does however mask important regional differences, with the unemployment rate in the North East almost double that in the South East.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 5.1% in 2017, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2018, the panel expects the unemployment rate to increase to 5.4%.

Author:, Economist

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United Kingdom Unemployment Chart

United Kingdom Unemployment February 2017 1

Note: Three-month average of unemployment rate in %.
Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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