UK jobless rate down, wage growth slows

UK jobless rate down, wage growth slows
By Euronews with REUTERS
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Even as the unemployment rate fell, wage growth in Britain in the three months to November was the slowest since February, reducing pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates.


Britain’s unemployment rate has unexpectedly fallen to its lowest in a decade but at the same time it has been revealed that wage growth in the UK has slowed.

In the three months to November 2015 the number of jobless Britons was 5.1 percent of the workforce, down from 5.2 percent in the three months to October.

Official figures showed the number of people in employment leapt by 267,000, its third biggest increase since records began in 1971, taking the employment rate to an new high of 74.0 percent.

However, average weekly earnings in the period were up 2.0 percent, the smallest increase since last February.

That reduces pressure on inflation making it less likely the UK central bank – the Bank of England – will raise interest rates anytime soon.

The employment numbers contrasted with the latest UK household morale survey which showed Britons worried about job security and saying their financial situation had worsened.

Data company Markit said its Household Finance Index for January reported the weakest growth in workplace activity in 31 months, and the most widespread worries about job security since early 2014.

“Underpinning financial woes were worries about job security, slower growth of workplace activity and faster reductions in savings and cash available to spend,” Markit economist Philip Leake said.

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