Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 17 April 2024

Unemployment jumps as UK jobs market stalls

The unemployment rate increased to 4.2% between December and February, which is the highest level for six months.

Meanwhile, the rate of people with a job dipped and the economically inactive – those not in work or looking for employment – ticked higher.

Economists suggested the data could spur the Bank of England to cut interest rates in the summer.

“With employment falling sharply and the unemployment rate climbing, we suspect wage growth will continue to ease in the coming months,” said Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics.

“That may allow the Bank to cut interest rates in June.”

Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK, added: “Easing pressure in the labour market keeps the Bank on track for a summer rate cut.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there are “tentative signs that the jobs market is beginning to cool”.

Overall, the ONS said the UK’s unemployment rate rose from 3.9% in the three months to January and surpassed economists’ forecast of an increase to 4%.

In total, there were 1.4 million unemployed people in the UK between December and February, it said.

However, other figures showed that while average wage growth, excluding bonuses, edged down from 6.1% to 6% it remained far above forecasts.

And, when taking inflation into account, real wages rose by 1.9% in the three months to February. This was the highest since the three months to September in 2021.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt praised the growth in real wages and said that with the government’s recent cut in National Insurance for the employed and self-employed, which came into force on 6 April, “people should start to feel the difference”.

But a freeze in income tax thresholds until 2028 means that as people’s wages increase they risk entering a higher bracket and paying more tax.

Pay growth

Wage growth is a key point monitored by the Bank of England when deciding whether or not to cut interest rates because it can fuel inflation – which measures the pace at which prices are rising.

The rate of inflation has been easing. From a record high of 11.1% in October 2022, it slowed to 3.4% in the year to February and new data due out on Wednesday is expected to show a further deceleration for the 12 months to March.

Read More: Unemployment jumps as UK jobs market stalls

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