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United Kingdom Unemployment April 2024

United Kingdom: Labor market softens slightly heading into Q2

According to the statistical office, vacancy numbers declined in the three months to April for the 22nd consecutive three-month period, but were still above pre-pandemic levels. In addition, employment fell for the third straight month in April, while the unemployment rate rose to 4.3% in January–March, the highest rate since last July. More positively, at 5.9% year on year in March, wage growth continued to outpace inflation, pointing to improving consumer purchasing power.

Our Consensus is for the unemployment rate to remain close to its current level in the coming quarters, staying below the G7 average.

Providing a caveat to the latest data, ING’s James Smith said:

“The UK jobs market is cooling […] [But] it’s worth remembering from the outset that the headline jobs figures – employment, unemployment and inactivity – are still believed to be pretty unreliable, owing to an ongoing fall in the survey’s response rate. The unemployment rate notched up to 4.3%, but it’s hard to say how much weight we should really be putting on that (potentially not a lot).”

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