Unemployment in the July to September quarter increased just 0.2% to 5.2% according to International...
Unemployment in the July to September quarter increased just 0.2% to 5.2% according to International Labour Organisation counting rules the Office for National Statistics says today, while the unemployment benefits claimant count registered 3.1%, the lowest since the mid-1970s.
This translates into continued strong consumer spending as low interest rates keep borrowing costs down and continued employment makes debt repayments possible.
Despite the good performance of the economy and tight labour market, annualised wage inflation registered just 3.8% at the end of the quarter.
Part of the explanation is the loss of high-paying jobs in the financial services sector as the bear market has forced investment banks and other firms to cut bonuses and shed staff.
Job cuts have also hit the manufacturing sector, which lost more than 150,000 jobs in the year to June.
But other services industries are taking up the slack, and the Christmas sales season is expected to tighten the labour market still further.
Further falls in unemployment rates could put pressure on the Bank of England not to cut interest rates next month.
The base rate remained set at 4% this month as reports showed the housing market went white hot in October as house prices gained almost 5%.
Despite improved risk appetite
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