Unemployment in the UK fell for another month in February, hitting another record low, according to the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday.
Headline unemployment fell from 4.8% at the last reading, to 4.7%, according to the ONS, with 31,000 fewer people unemployed from the previous period.
According to an ONS release:
“Estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that, between August to October 2016 and the 3 months to January 2017, the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people fell, and the number of people aged from 16 to 64 not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) also fell.”
“The unemployment rate was 4.7%, down from 5.1% for a year earlier. It has not been lower since June to August 1975. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (those in work plus those unemployed) that were unemployed.”
Headline employment remained unchanged at 74.6% in the month, equalling a record high set in January, but not seen before that since records began in 1971.
Since the Brexit vote, various economists and financial institutions have predicted that the UK’s unemployment rate will shoot up as a result of the vote to leave. Credit Suisse, for example, predicts an increase to 6.5% for the base rate, equivalent to roughly 500,000 jobs being lost. However, the last few months have seen the rate remain near its record low and Wednesday’s figures show the trend appears to be holding up.
The Bank of England expects unemployment to rise to 5.5% once the full effects of the referendum are felt across the economy, and in January Governor Mark Carney said in a speech he believes the bank saved up to 250,000 jobs by unleashing an unprecedented package of monetary stimulus in response to the UK’s Brexit vote.
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