UK's unemployment figure 4.3%, lowest since 1975

Unemplyoment figures graphic

The strongest increase since late 2015 belied other signs of sluggish economic growth this year after last year's Brexit vote.

There were 32.14 million people in work during May to July 2017, 181,000 more than the preceding three months and 379,000 more than recorded in the previous year.

United Kingdom unemployment declined to 4.3% in the three months to July from 4.4% the previous month and compared with consensus forecasts of an unchanged rate.

"The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.3 per cent, the highest since comparable records began in 1971", the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. That was unchanged from the three months to June and compares with 2.2% a year earlier.

At 2.9%, inflation rose to a more than five-year high in August on clothing and petrol prices. In real terms, wages dropped by 0.4%.

Nationally employment hit record levels despite households feeling the pinch as wage growth lags behind inflation.

United Kingdom fnflation has picked up sharply since the pound tumbled after last year's vote to leave the European Union, and the United Kingdom government said yesterday it would no longer limit pay rises for police and prison guards to a 1% cap for the public sector. Further, the Bank of England's (BoE) monetary policy decision, scheduled to be unveiled on September 13, will add direction to the country's debt market.

The outcome of the meeting is due to be announced on Thursday. Unemployment is also below the level which the Bank of England expects to trigger faster pay growth.

However, policymakers may prefer to stay in wait and see mode, as it forecasts wage growth will rise to three per cent next year, while inflation falls back towards the two per cent.

There was negative news on the wage front, however, as average weekly earnings rose by 2.1% year-on-year, in line with the gain recorded in the previous month but below the 2.2% increase analysts expected.

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