UK Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 43-Year Low


The unemployment rate in the UK held steady at 4 percent in the three months to July 2018, its joint-lowest since 1975 and in line with market consensus. The number of unemployed declined by 55,000 from the February to April period while employment rose by 3,000 and the number of job vacancies hit a fresh record high. Meanwhile, annual wage growth picked up from a nine-month low as businesses found it harder to recruit staff.

There were 1.36 million unemployed people, 55,000 fewer than for February to April 2018 and 95,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The unemployment rate was 4.0 percent; it has not been lower since December 1974 to February 1975.

There were 32.40 million people in work, little changed compared with February to April 2018 but 261,000 more than for a year earlier. The employment rate was 75.5 percent, slightly lower than for February to April 2018 (75.6 percent) but higher than for a year earlier (75.3 percent). 

There were 8.76 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive, 108,000 more than for February to April 2018 and 16,000 more than for a year earlier. The economic inactivity rate was 21.2 percent, higher than for February to April 2018 (21.0 percent) but unchanged compared with a year earlier.

Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.9 percent excluding bonuses, and by 2.6 percent including bonuses, compared with a year earlier. Meanwhile, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) increased by 0.5 percent excluding bonuses, and by 0.2 percent including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

Job vacancies rose by 14,000 to an all-time high of 833,000 in the three months to August 2018 from 819,000 in the March to May period, driven by increases in vacancies in the following sectors: human health and social work activities (4,000); administration and support service activities (3,000); accommodation and food service activities (6,000); wholesale and retail trade (3,000); education (2,000); and construction (5,000). Over the same period, vacancies declined in the following sectors: professional, scientific and technical activities (-2,000); finance and insurance activities (-1,000); arts, entertainment and recreation (-4,000); information and communication (-2,000); and transport and storage (-1,000). Year-on-year, job vacancies rose by 44,000. They have been on an upward trend since the period April to June 2009, when vacancies were at their lowest level of 432,000.

UK Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 43-Year Low


ONS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
9/11/2018 9:37:20 AM