United Kingdom wages ease slightly in June, jobless rate drop to 4%

Roman Schwartz
August 15, 2018

The number of Scots out of work has fallen and the jobless total across the United Kingdom reached a 40-year low, official figures today show.

Britain's economy warmed up a little in the second quarter from its winter slowdown of early 2018, official data showed last week, but there was no sign of an end to its stuttering performance ahead of Brexit next year.

The BoE raised interest rates on August 2 for only the second time since the financial crisis.

Economists polled in the run up to the release had expected an unemployment rate of 4.2%.

The number of people in work continued to increase - up by 42,000 to 32.39 million, although the rate remained at 75 per cent, said the Office for National Statistics.

The unemployment rate is four per cent - the lowest since February 1975.

More people were in work over the period, the ONS added, saying that there were 32.39 million people in the United Kingdom with jobs, an increase of 42,000.

Job vacancies increased by 20,000 to a record high of 829,000, while average earnings increased by 2.4 per cent in the year to June, down from 2.5 per cent the previous month.

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Total annual wage growth slowed to a nine-month low of 2.4 percent, below forecasts for it to hold at 2.5 percent.

The UK wages excluding bonuses rose by 2.7% y/y compared to 2.7% y/y expected.

There were 1.36 million unemployed people in the United Kingdom over the three months, the ONS said, 65,000 fewer than in the previous data period.

But the numbers hinted that, as the employment market is growing, the United Kingdom workforce is shrinking - partly due to Brexit.

But there has been a record fall in the number of European Union nationals working in the United Kingdom, new figures show.

The percentage of workers employed on a zero-hours contract is now 2.4 per cent, down from 2.8 per cent a year ago.

The number of nationals from the eight East European countries that joined the EU in 2004 fell by 117,000, an 11.7 percent drop on the year.

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