UK Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Rises to 3.9%


The UK unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent in the three months to August 2019 from 3.8 percent in the previous period, while markets had forecast the rate to remain unchanged. Unemployment rose by 22,000 to 1.314 million and employment fell the most in over four years by 56,000 to 32.693 million, missing forecasts of a 23,000 increase. Meanwhile, total pay growth advanced by 3.8 percent, below market expectations of 4 percent.

Estimated unemployment rates for both men and women aged 16 years and over have been generally falling since late 2013 but have levelled off in recent periods. For June to August 2019, the estimated unemployment rate: for all people was 3.9 percent, lower than a year earlier (4.0 percent) but 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous quarter; for men was 4.0 percent, which was 0.1 percentage points lower than last year but 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous quarter; for women was 3.7 percent, down 0.3 percentage points on a year earlier but largely unchanged on the previous quarter. 

Estimated employment rates for men and women aged between 16 and 64 years have been generally increasing since early 2012. For June to August 2019, the estimated employment rate: for people was 75.9 percent; this is 0.3 percentage points up on the year, but 0.2 percentage points lower on the quarter; for men was 80.2 percent; this is largely unchanged on the year and on the quarter; for women was 71.6 percent; this is 0.6 percentage points up on the year, but 0.3 percentage points down on the quarter. 

Estimates for June to August 2019 show 32.69 million people aged 16 years and over in employment, 282,000 more than a year earlier. This annual increase was driven mainly by women (up 202,000 on the year), those aged 50 years and over (up 287,000 on the year) and full-time workers (up 263,000 on the year). There was, however, a 56,000 decrease in employment on the quarter, which was the first quarterly decrease since August to October 2017.

Since comparable records began in 1971, the economic inactivity rate for all people aged from 16 to 64 years has been generally falling (although it increased during recessions). This is because of a gradual fall in the economic inactivity rate for women. For people aged from 16 to 64 years, for June to August 2019, the estimated economic inactivity rate: for all people was 21.0%, down 0.2 percentage points on the year but up 0.1 percentage points on the previous quarter; for men was 16.4%, largely unchanged on the previous year and on the previous quarter; for women was 25.6%, down 0.4 percentage points on the year but up 0.3 percentage points on the previous quarter. 

Estimates for June to August 2019 showed 8.68 million people aged between 16 and 64 years not in the labour force (economically inactive). This was 63,000 fewer than a year earlier and 362,000 fewer than five years earlier.

Total earnings growth, including bonuses, advanced by an annual 3.8 percent in the three months to August, slowing from a downwardly revised 3.9 percent gain in the previous period and missing market expectations of a 4 percent rise. Excluding bonuses, pay growth eased to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent, above market forecasts of 3.7 percent.

UK Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Rises to 3.9%


ONS | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com
10/15/2019 9:22:46 AM