Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Unemployment rate edges up to 8%
Posted by David Smith at 11:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Another set of fairly benign labour market numbers, suggesting a winter surge in unemployment has been avoided. Though the Labour Force Survey unemployment rate edged up to 8%, the rise over the latest three months, 27,000 to 2.53m, was modest.

LFS unemployment remains locked at close to 2.5m, as it has been for more than 18 months, while the claimant count dropped by 10,200 in February to 1.45m.

Employment rose by 32,000 to 29.16m in the latest three months, rising private sector employment compensating for a fall in the public sector total. While the Office for National Statistics is still claiming a dubious "record" for youth unemployment, another record was that employment among 50-64 year-olds hit 7.32m, up 25,000 on the quarter, while employment among over-65s was a record 900,000, up 56,000 on the quarter. The young will no doubt think the old are taking their jobs, but a lot of this is due to this age group getting older and staying longer in work.

Earnings growth including bonuses rose from 1.8% to 2.3%. Excluding bonuses it was 2.2%, down from 2.3%. More here.