The labor market in the UK continues to stabilize, as the unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in the three months to May, which is the lowest level since October 2005. The economists expected the rate to remain at 5%, as it was in the period from February to April. At the same time, the employment rate increased to a new record of 74.4%. From March to May the number of employed persons increased by 176,000 people, which is the biggest increase this year to a record 31.7 million people.
However, the growth in wages unexpectedly slowed to 2.2% from 2.3%, but the total income increased by 2.3%, compared to the previous growth of 2%.
Between 1971 and 2016, the unemployment rate in UK averaged at 7.15%. The highest unemployment rate of 12% was reached in February 1984, and the lowest of 3.4% was reported in November 1973.
The unemployment rate to begin to drift up over the coming quarters. The upshot is that these may be the best set of labour market figures for a while. The Bank of England had a similar view in its separate monthly summary of business conditions, which was also released on Wednesday.
After the news for the UK labor market, the pound pushed away from the week-long bottom, and climbed 0.6% to 1.3194 USD per GBP. Earlier, the British currency fell to 1.3065 USD per GBP, which is the lowest level since July 12. All data were collected before June 23, which means that they do not reflect the impact of the referendum Brexit on the economy.
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