Shock as unemployment rises at fastest pace in five years

Britain has registered its first rise in unemployment since the Brexit referendum in 2016. The increase in the jobless rate to 4.4% surprised economists and the pound dropped by about 0.6% against the dollar as investors pondered whether the new data

Unemployment rises at sharpest rate for nearly five years

Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics said: "The latest GDP data suggest that the economy remains in a fragile state and does not need to be cooled with another rate rise as soon as May". There were 823,000 vacancies in the three months to January 2018, 70,000 more than at the same time previous year.

The increase represents the first time since 2016 that the unemployment rate has risen and it is the sharpest increase in almost five years.

He said: While an upturn in pay growth opens the door further for interest rates to rise again, possibly as soon as May, signs of the labour market losing steam add to worries that the economy is struggling under heightened uncertainty.

She also described the productivity figures as "very encouraging".

The central bank would raise interest rates in order to reduce inflation over a two-to-three year horizon.

Wages, on average, grew by 2.5%, up from 2.4% the previous month. Economist predicted there might be a rate rise as early as May.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics for October to December 2017 show Scotland's jobless total rose by 14,000 people.

Unemployment rates are calculated by people who are registered looking for work as a proportion of the working age population.

"There are mixed messages in the data we've had out this morning", says Liz Martins, senior economist at HSBC.

"Looking at the underlying numbers, we can see that European Union net migration has fallen, as fewer European Union citizens are arriving, especially those coming to look for work in the United Kingdom, and the number leaving has risen".

We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website and bring you more relevant advertising. The start of the New Year brings with it new exercise regimes and healthy eating trends, which mean people are a little more careful with their cash and do not indulge themselves to make up for the pre-Christmas period of excess. It estimates that over 2017 as a whole GDP per capita growth was just 1.1 per cent.

Because an economy is simply people and their economic activity, when the number of people grows, so does the economy.

The UK economy expanded less than previously estimated in the fourth quarter as consumers and businesses absorbed faster price increases. Maybe that old motor has some life in it yet.

Latest News