UK jobs report preview: With Brexit on the back burner, upbeat wages could lift the pound

  • The UK jobs report is expected to remain upbeat, despite rising jobless claims.
  • Brexit is now on the backburner, allowing the data to move the pound. 
  • The bias is in favor of GBP/USD rises.

The UK publishes its Unemployment Rate and Average Earnings data for February and the Claimant Count Change for March on Tuesday, April 16h, at 8:30 GMT.

Upbeat jobs market, no change expected 

The British labor market is doing quite well. The jobless rate dropped to 3.9% in January, with record employment. Wages grew at a satisfactory standard of 3.4%, including and excluding bonuses. 

The concern stems from the Claimant Count Change, or jobless claims, which have been on the rise for quite some time. They jumped by a disappointing 27K in February. Despite recent increases in those seeking work, the labor market remains robust.

Similar figures are expected now: the jobless rate is projected to remain unchanged at 3.9%. Salaries including bonuses are forecast to accelerate to 3.5% and excluding bonuses to stay at 3.4%. 

As these figures are great, minor disappointments will probably be brushed off.

A similar positive bias is on the cards for claims, but for a different reason. As expectations are low, for another increase of 20K, the same level as last month's 27K would not be a shocker, and a smaller rise would serve as good news.

All in all, it would take substantial shortcomings in all the data to adversely impact the pound, looking at the data alone.

But the data is never isolated from the bigger picture.

Brexit breather and risk-on sentiment

The figures are released after the European Union granted a six-month extension to Article 50, delaying Brexit until Halloween. The decision came after long weeks in which the deadline for Brexit was close and as the default option was a no-deal exit. 

The postponement has two effects. First, it allows the data to move markets. The numbers, good or bad, had a limited and short-lived impact on Sterling. The focus swiftly shifted back to Brexit. But now, it could have a more significant impact as the Bank of England may have a closer look at the data.

And secondly, while uncertainty remains high, Brexit is not imminent and this supports the pound. Talks between the government and the opposition continue despite the differences. Therefore, an OK report comes amid better conditions for the pound.

And looking to the other side of the equation, the US Dollar is now on the back foot due to separate negotiations. The US and China have made progress in trade talks, and there are even reports that the US made concessions regarding government intervention, moves made to facilitate clinching an accord. The development has underpinned the risk-on mood, which weakens the safe-haven US Dollar.


It would take a genuinely miserable jobs report to weigh on the pound. With Brexit temporarily out of the way and an improved market mood, the scales seem tilted in favor of GBP/USD. So, an OK report has room to lift GBP/USD.

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 registers an inside day ahead of German Zew survey

EUR/USD created an inside day or inside bar candlestick pattern on Monday, indicating investor indecision and impending volatility. An inside day occurs when the price action falls within the preceding day's high and low. On Monday, 


GBP/USD: Inside day makes Tuesday's close pivotal

GBP/USD created an inside bar candlestick pattern on Monday, making Tuesday's GMT close pivotal. An inside bar occurs when the daily high and low falls within the preceding day's trading range. The pair hit a high at 1.2650.


USD/JPY unchanged on 108 handle in Tokyo opening hour, eyes on key events

USD/JPY is steady in Tokyo's opening hour, down -0.02% despite the concerns over the 'Phase1' deal made between China and the US on Friday. Looking ahead, eyes are on US Industrial Production and Fed speakers.


UK jobs report preview: GBP/USD set to react to figures that go with the Brexit mood

Finding a job in the UK is more accessible than in the past and pay is rising – but that does not move the pound these days. The employment report is scheduled two days ahead of the critical EU Summit and 16 ahead of Brexit Day. 

Read more

Gold: Bears look for a break below the trendline support

The price had been sent lower below the 21 and 50-day MA converging and the 7th Oct lows. Trendline support guards a test of a 50% mean reversion of the late June swing lows to recent highs around 1480 will be encouraged. 

Gold News

Forex Majors