FX.co ★ UK Jobless Rate Drops Unexpectedly

UK Jobless Rate Drops Unexpectedly

The UK unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly in three months to February, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday.

The jobless rate fell to 4.9 percent in three months to February. Economists had forecast the rate to rise to 5.1 percent from 5 percent in three months to January.

At the same time, the employment rate dropped 0.1 percentage points from the previous quarter to 75.1 percent.

Annual growth in average employee pay continued to strengthen, the growth was driven in part by compositional effects of a fall in the number and proportion of lower-paid employee jobs.

In three months to February, average earnings including bonus grew 4.5 percent annually and earnings excluding bonus advanced 4.4 percent.

In March, the claimant count rate held steady at 7.3 percent. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits increased by 10,100 from February.

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