UK Unemployment Sticks to 42-Year Low, Missing Consensus

UK Unemployment Sticks to 42-Year Low, Missing Consensus

Average weekly earnings rose by 2.5 percent year-on-year in the three-month period to October, but lagged behind Britain's annual inflation rate of 3.1 percent.

That was despite a continued fall in joblessness, explained by the number of people classed as economically inactive - meaning they are not seeking or available to work - rising by 115,000 to 8.8 million.

"Today's figures are further evidence of Tory economic failure, only a day after inflation rose to its highest level in over five-and-half years".

The employment rate between August and October 2017 was 75.1%, down from the 75.3% recorded in the preceding three months, but up from 74.4% a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

At the same time, the number of Scots who were in work dropped by 21,000, accounting for nearly two fifths of the 56,000 decrease in employment experienced across Britain.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns said that while the gap is 17% for full-time workers, "part-time figures for the town are the reverse of the full-time employment statistics".

He added the country's "equally remarkable pay squeeze will continue to bite in the run-up to Christmas, with wage growth for 2018 expected to be anaemic at best".

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Maike Currie, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International, said consumers will have little reason to cheer this festive season as the cost of living continues to outpace their earnings growth.

European equity benchmarks were mainly lower in early trade on Wednesday as traders eyed the upcoming decision of the Bank of England on interest rates as fresh data showed a decline in real wage growth in the UK.

"Both employment and real wages are falling, while the price of household essentials balloons, leaving millions of people worse off than they were in 2010".

"Boosting pay packets should be a priority for the Government - not a side issue".

The jobless rate in the United Kingdom was unchanged at a prior 42-year low in October, missing expectations, while wage inflation increased, providing some relief to the cost of living squeeze in Britain, official data showed on Wednesday.

That was the first BoE hike since before the financial crisis, when the rate was ratcheted up as high as 5.75 percent in July 2007.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: 'We're ending the year on a strong note, with figures showing the unemployment rate has fallen every month in 2017, and is now at the lowest it's been in over 40 years.

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