UK unemployment sticks at 6 per cent - as wage growth finally rises above inflation

Jessica Morris
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The UK employment rate fell again in the three months to September.

UK unemployment remained flat at six per cent in the three months to September, slightly missing analyst expectations, official statistics published this morning showed.

In total there were 30.79m people in work, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was 112,000 more than for April to June 2014 and 694,000 more than for a year earlier.

During the quarter, 73 per cent of working age people were in employment, up 1.4 per cent on a year earlier.

Wage growth rose 1.3 per cent, meaning it's now above inflation (the Consumer Prices Index stood at 1.2 per cent in September). It's likely that will have implications on when the Bank of England (BoE) will hike interest rates - as many officials have said that they were waiting to see stronger wage growth.

Global Economics' Ing Finmk said the release was reasonably encouraging.

The market had been looking for a slightly higher employment number and the unemployment rate edging lower to 5.9%, but the fact wages rose faster than anticipated should offset this.

Nonetheless, they don't expect too much from Bank of England governor Mark Carney later today.

Carney is unlikely to rock the boat today. He will probably emphasise economic uncertainty relating to the eurozone and the fact inflation remains well below target.

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