The UK unemployment rose slightly in the third quarter ahead of the economy entering a prolonged period of recession.
The ILO jobless rate rose slightly to 3.6 percent during July to September from 3.5 percent in three months to August, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. The rate was forecast to remain unchanged at 3.5 percent.
The employment rate for July to September was 75.5 percent, largely unchanged on the previous quarter.
In October, payrolled employees showed a monthly increase of 74,000 to hit a record 29.8 million.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits increased 3,300 in October from September. The claimant count held steady at seasonally adjusted 3.9 percent.
In the three months to October period, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 46,000 on the quarter to 1,225,000. Despite four consecutive quarterly falls, vacancies remained at historically high levels.
In the three months to September, average earnings including bonuses increased 6.0 percent, which was faster than economists’ forecast of 5.9 percent.
Likewise, excluding bonuses, regular pay grew 5.7 percent from the last year compared to the expected growth of 5.5 percent. This was the strongest growth in regular pay seen outside of the coronavirus pandemic period, the ONS said.
“With confidence waning as we enter recession, and the expectation of even tougher economic times ahead, we may see more recruitment freezes, job losses and business closures,” BCC Head of People Policy, Jane Gratton, said.
The Bank of England projected a prolonged period of recession. The economy is projected to remain in recession throughout next year and the first half of 2024, and to recover only gradually thereafter.
The BoE forecast the unemployment rate to rise to 4.9 percent by the end of next year and 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2024 and to reach 6.4 percent by the end of forecast period.
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