• Employment change expected to rise modestly in May
  • Unemployment rate and average weekly earnings predicted to be unchanged
  • Sterling weakness based on Brexit and political turmoil

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will release it Labour Market Overview at 8:30 GMT, 4:30 EDT on July 16th.


The employment change for May is expected to be 45,000 in May following Aprils 32,000 gain. The International Labour Organization (ILO) unemployment rate for May is predicted to be stable at 3.8%.  Average annual weekly earnings ex-bonus will rise 3.5% in May after April’s 3.4% increase. The unemployment claimant count is forecast to add 22,800 in June  following May’s 23,2000 gain.

The Brexit effect on Labor

The impact of the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 has had an uneven impact on the UK labor market.

The unemployment (ILO) has continued to fall, as it did for the prior four years, from 4.9% in June 2016 to 3.8% in April this year where it is forecast to remain in May. This is the lowest rate in 45 years.


Average annual weekly earnings dipped in the second quarter of 2017 to 1.7% but have climbed for the past two years, reaching 3.4% in April, the best since November 2008.  


The change in the unemployment claimant count, that is the number of people receiving unemployment related benefits, has risen steadily form a low of -11,600 in January to 23,200 in April 2019.  


And finally the overall employment change has shifted to a lower level but has subsequently maintained that range more than two years. In July 2016 the 12 month moving average was 156,900. In the prior two years it had varied between 100,400 in July 2015 and 200,400 in June 2014.  At the end of the Brexit vote year in December 2016 the average had dropped to 79,800.  From then until April 2019 the range has been 70,500 in October 2017 to 114,400 in February 2019.  


UK Economic Markers

The UK GDP has trended lower in the past two and a half years. Overall post-Brexit the annual GDP has varied from 2.9% in March and June 2017 to 1.1% in December 2018.  The period is divided by November 2017 with the period before largely above 2% and the period after, with one exception below.


Industrial and manufacturing output show a similar pattern to GDP stronger in the period after the vote (June 2016 vote to June 2018) then lower.

Retail sales exhibit a good deal of volatility in the two years after the Brexit vote but the downshift came this year with four of six months negative and two straight in May and June.  


The pound has been the most adversely affected by the post-Brexit mood but here it is the lack of conclusion and the emotional ups and downs of the political process more than any translation from the British economy.

In general the financial markets disapprove of a so-called clean Brexit, an exit without negotiated terms, and would sell the sterling lower if that were the choice of the new prime minister. But that is not at all certain to be the long-term result of a clean break.


The UK economy has run at a slower pace in the past 18 months but it does not appear to be edging towards recession. The risk to the employment figures for May and June partake of this weaker direction though there is as yet no sense of a strong downtrend.


Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility.

Analysis feed

Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD rising after upbeat German PMI data

EUR/USD is trading around 1.1100, up on the day. German manufacturing PMI surprised with 43.6 and other figures also beat expectations. The ECB minutes are next.


GBP/USD stabilizing above 1.2100 ahead of the Johnson-Macron meeting

GBP/USD is trading above 1.2100, steady. After German Chancellor Merkel offered UK PM Johnson 30 days to solve the Irish Backstop problem, Johnson meets French President Macron.


USD/JPY: Weaker below 106.50, focus on T-yields ahead of Powell

USD/JPY trades weaker below the 106.50 level, tracking the negative S&P 500 futures and a cautious sentiment on the Asian equities, as attention shifts from the FOMC minutes to the Fed's Powell speech for fresh direction. 


USD/CNH: Rallies, confirms falling channel breakout

Another wave of CNH selling could soon hit the market as the pair technical charts are reporting a bullish breakout. For instance, the pair has jumped 0.22% to levels above 7.08 today, confirming an upside break of the falling channel on the 4H chart.

Read more

Gold: Trapped in a symmetrical triangle

Gold is trapped in a narrowing price or a symmetrical triangle pattern, according to the 4-hour chart. The yellow metal rose to a six-year high of $1,353 per Oz on Aug. 13 and has charted lower highs and higher lows ever since.

Gold News