Look ahead to UK labour force statistics - unemployment expected to remain at 7.8 per cent

Looking ahead to British employment figures to be released at 9.30am today by the ONS, it is expected that the unemployment rate for February 2013 through April 2013 will remain steady at 7.8 per cent, although there is contention over the figures.

Citi expect unemployment to fall by 15,000, with the rate steady at 7.8 per cent. But Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital, thinks headline figures will be lower than expected, although he agrees unemployment will remain at 7.8 per cent. Although there has been strong growth in certain sectors, he says, the second quarter has not performed as well as thought.

The employment rate for January 2013 through March 2013 was 71.4 per cent, with 29.71m in work - down 43,000 from October to December 2012. Unemployment was 7.8 per cent of the economally active population, with the number of unemployed at 2.52m, up 15,000 quarter-on-quarter.