United Kingdom: Unemployment rate declines further in the three months up to October
December 18, 2013
In November, jobless claims fell 36,700 over the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which was down from the revised 42,800 drop recorded in October (previously reported: 44,700). November's reading was, however, above the 35,000 decrease in jobless claims the markets had expected.
The unemployment rate - derived from a different survey - inched down to 7.4% in the three months up to October, which was below the 7.6% recorded in the three months up to September. In addition, the figure undershot market expectations of the rate remaining at 7.6%. As a result, the unemployment level is now closer to the 7.0% threshold the Bank of England (BOE) introduced at its 7 August monetary policy meeting at which time it made a commitment to keep interest rates on hold until unemployment falls below the threshold.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 7.8% this year, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 7.6%, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's estimate.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist