According to the Office of National Statistics the number of people in the UK who filed for unemployment fell by 14.8k for the 3 month period ending December, compared to the analyst consensus estimate of a decline of 3k. The prior figure was revised from -4.3k to -15.2k. The employment change for the same period ending in December was 205k versus the consensus estimate of 225k.
The 3 month unemployment rate remained at 5.1%, which matched the period and the lowest three month rate it has been since the period from August to October of 2005.
There were 387,000 more people working on a full-time basis than a year earlier, totaling 22.98 million people. There were an additional 8.34 million people working part-time, up 134,000 from a year earlier. The employment rate among people between the age of 16 and 64 was 74.1%, the highest since records began in 1971.
Average weekly earnings over the prior 3 month period ending December rose 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. Including bonuses the figure grew by 1.9%. Analyst were looking for 1.9% and 1.8%, respectively.
Employment, like in the US, has not been the issue holding back the BoE from raising rates. Employment as we can see is quite robust. It has been low inflation and concerns over the global economy which continue to keep monetary policy very accommodating.
Following the release of the data the British Pound reacted with a knee-jerk reaction lower by about 30 pips, but erased most of those losses. It is currently edging lower on the session versus the US dollar to a rate of 1.4276, – 0.18%.