United Kingdom Unemployment February 2017

United Kingdom

United Kingdom: Unemployment rate remains at multi-decade low in February

April 12, 2017

Jobless claims rose by 25,500 in March according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), contrasting the revised 6,100 fall observed in the previous month (previously reported: 11,300 drop) and confounding market expectations, with analysts banking on a slight fall in the claimant count.

The unemployment rate—derived from a different survey—was 4.7% in February (the latest period for which data is available), mirroring January’s figure. The UK labor market therefore remains in rude health, despite the uncertainty generated following last year’s EU referendum. Less encouragingly however, ONS data also shows that real wage growth petered out in the three months to February, despite record low unemployment.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 5.1% in 2017, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2018, the panel expects the unemployment rate to increase to 5.3%.

Author:, Economist

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United Kingdom Unemployment Chart

United Kingdom Unemployment March 2017

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

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