Britain's unemployment rate is holding at record lows, and Brexit can't stop it

Unemployment in the UK remained unchanged at the latest reading, staying at just 4.8% — a 10-year low, according to the data released by the Office for National Statistics.

That was in line with forecasts from economists polled prior to the release, and unchanged from the number released in November.

Employment also remains at its highest level since records began, at 74.5% of the population.

There were 31.76 million people in work between August and October, which was “little changed compared with May to July 2016 but 342,000 more than for a year earlier,” an ONS release said.

Here’s the ONS’ chart showing the unemployment rate over the last five years:

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, November saw 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. However, BOE governor Mark Carney has said that the bank is willing to allow inflation to overshoot its target in order to protect jobs.

Average earning grew by 2.6% in November, a slight acceleration on October’s figure of 2.4%, and better than the 2.5% that was forecast prior to the release.

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