UK wages are rising even as unemployment ticks higher

Unemployment rate in Scotland rises to 4.5

Unemployment rate in Scotland rises to 4.5

There were 1.47 million people out of work in the United Kingdom in the quarter to December 2017, an increase of 46,000, giving a jobless rate of 4.4 per cent.

The number of unemployed people increased by 46,000 to 1.47m in the three months to December, when compared with July to September 2017. The unemployment rate has fallen by such a degree in recent years that some commentators have described the situation as Britain's "jobs miracle".

Elsewhere, the statistics agency found an uptick in wages, which could conversely harden the resolve of some rate-setters at the Bank of England to raise interest rates again, possibly as soon as May.

The claimant count, which includes people on Jobseeker's Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit, fell by 7,200 last month to 823,000.

The UK's unemployment level has unexpectedly risen by the biggest amount in nearly five years, official figures show.

Other figures revealed that average earnings increased by 2.5 per cent in the year to December, unchanged from the previous month.

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Pay growth also improved - with average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, up by 2.5%.

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

Britain's unemployment rate rose unexpectedly for the first time in nearly two years in the three months to December, official data showed on Wednesday.

That was still weaker than the 3.0 percent reading of British consumer price inflation for December and the ONS said wage growth in real terms dropped by an annual 0.3 percent over the fourth quarter. In particular, fewer citizens of the eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 and of non-EU countries were in work than in the year before. In midday trading, the pound was 0.5 percent lower at $1.3921.

"This is the sharpest increase in the unemployment level the ONS has seen in nearly five years", Matt Hughes, a senior statistician from the ONS. told media.

He said: "Economically speaking, not much has changed in the labour market, which is still characterised by low unemployment and stubbornly stagnant wages".

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