Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Record employment and unemployment breaks the trend
Posted by David Smith at 09:45 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

This was another strong set of unemployment numbers. There are a number of features. The first, which will generate much excitement in the markets, is the drop in the unemployment rate to 7.4% in the August-October period, from 7.7% in May-July. This brings it closer to the 7% threshold for the Bank of England's forward guidance, at which point it will consider rate hikes.

The second feature is the strength of employment, up to 30.09 million in the latest three months (the first time it has done so), a rise of 250,000 on the previous three months. This shows a job market on steroids.

The third is the unemployment number itself, down 99,000 in the latest three months to 2.39 million, the first time it has broken decisively below 2.5 million since the crisis.

Finallly, and underpinning this, private sector job creation in the 12 months to September, 537,000, was more than ten times the loss of public sector jobs (52,000). Interestingly, public sector employment showed a small rise in the latest three months. More here.