UK jobless rate rises to 5.1% vs. 5.1% expected, GBP/USD unmoved

  • UK Dec jobless claims changed -20K vs +35K expected.
  • The UK wages excluding bonuses rose by 4.1% YoY vs. 4.0% expected.
  • The unemployment rate in the UK rose to 5.1% in December.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed on Tuesday, the UK’s official jobless rate rose to 5.1% in December vs. the previous 5.0% and 5.1% expected, while the claimant count change showed an unexpected drop last month.

The number of people claiming jobless benefits fell by 20K in December, against expectations +35K and -202.4K seen previously. The claimant count rate came in at 7.2% vs. 7.4% last.

The UK’s average weekly Earnings, excluding bonuses, arrived at +4.1% 3Mo/YoY in Dec versus +3.6% last and +4.0% expected while the gauge including bonuses came in at +4.7% 3Mo/YoY in Dec versus +3.6% previous and +4.2% expected.

Key points (via ONS)

By age band, the 18 to 24 years age group has seen the greatest decrease in payrolled employees since February 2020

Although total hours worked continued to increase from the low levels in the previous quarter, this increase slowed in the latest quarter

The unemployment rate has had the biggest annual rise since the financial crisis

About UK jobs

The UK Average Earnings released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is a key short-term indicator of how levels of pay are changing within the UK economy. Generally speaking, the positive earnings growth anticipates positive (or bullish) for the GBP, whereas a low reading is seen as negative (or bearish).

GBP/USD reaction

Mixed UK jobs data fails to have a little impact on the pound, as GBP/USD holds above the 1.4050 level.

The spot was last seen trading at 1.4069, modestly flat on the day. The cable refreshed 35-month tops at 1.4087 on Monday.

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