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UK Unemployment Improves Again

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UK Unemployment Improves Again

The British National Statistics Office has published updated information on the state of the jobs recovery within the economy. The headline ILO Unemployment Rate has fallen in the 3 months to the end of March. The updated figure released today is 6.8%, this is a slight but steady improvement on the previously recorded 6.9%. Markets welcomed the increase but had been anticipating the fall to 6.8%.

On a more granular level the Claimant Count for the month of April has decreased in it’s rate of decline. The data shows that 25.1k less people were claiming unemployment benefit than the previous month. This is no doubt a welcome improvement but it does represent a slowing of the rate at which individuals are being removed from unemployment, March saw 30.6k people ceasing to claim benefits and economists had expected that this figure would hold up in April.

Moving back to March again, the National Statistics Office also this morning published the Claimant Count Rate, this held steady at the 3.3% level, not only remaining in keeping with the prior month but also precisely meeting the market consensus expectations.

In a sign of the structural difficulties in the employment market that may be faced by the UK authorities, today’s numbers highlighted a drop in the rate of earnings increases being experienced by those who currently are in employment.

The Average Earnings Excluding Bonuses number for the month of March increased by 1.3% over the previous year. This is a slowing in the rate of growth of this measure which three months earlier was measured at 1.4%. Markets were disappointed as a number closer to 1.5% growth had been expected. Average Earnings Including Bonuses showed no change on the prior figure, this once again came in at 1.7% but the market had been expecting a number closer to 2.1%.

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