Published: Sun, February 25, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

United Kingdom figures reveal 1.47 million people out of work

United Kingdom figures reveal 1.47 million people out of work

Among the figures was a 0.6% growth in services.

Markets are predicting that the next rate rise beyond 0.5% could come as soon as May and are pencilling in at least three hikes within three years.

"All told, the latest GDP data suggest that the economy remains in a fragile state and does not need to be cooled with another rate rise as soon as May", said Samuel Tombs of Pantheon.

SNP employability minister Jamie Hepburn said both unemployment and employment had improved year on year, but said the latest quarterly numbers were "disappointing". Household budgets were under pressure past year as the fall in the pound following the Brexit vote led to prices increasing faster than wages. So average pay has not increased in real terms. It's impossible to ensure sustainable economic growth when people have less money to spend due to anaemic wage growth.

She also described the productivity figures as "very encouraging". Economist predicted there might be a rate rise as early as May.

THE unemployment rate in Wales has risen again, according to the latest figures, for October-December past year.

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Britain was found to have recorded an economic growth that was not as much as expected over 2017's last three months.

"However, these latest figures show 68,000 more people in employment compared to the pre-recession peak, with 17,000 more people in work over the year and it is encouraging we continue to outperform the United Kingdom on employment and unemployment rates for young people and women".

"There are mixed messages in the data we've had out this morning", says Liz Martins, senior economist at HSBC.

"If GDP is growing more than the number of people working in it, then productivity will grow as there is more growth per head".

While growth in business and financial services drove growth in 2017, accounting for about 80% of national income, the services sectors experience their slowest pace of growth since 2011, the ONS said. The Scottish Parliament has more powers than ever before to boost the economy and promote growth and it needs to use them. Versus the euro, the pound was down 0.2 per cent at 1.29.

The number of Eastern European workers fell. Between the third and fourth quarters, transport, storage and communication grew by 1.1%; business services and finance were up by 0.9%; and government and other services increased by 0.2%. Maybe that old motor has some life in it yet.

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