United Kingdom unemployment edges up to 4.4%


Unemployment over the three months came in at 4.4%, up on the 4.3% in last month's readings, but it's down from 4.8% in the previous year.

Households lost spending power a year ago because of a jump in inflation, caused by the fall in the pound after the British vote to exit the European Union.

The employment rate remains at a near high but weekly wages actually fell in the three months to December, official statistics reveal.

The UK's unemployment level has unexpectedly risen by the biggest amount in nearly five years, official figures show.

The release added, "According to the LFS, the seasonally adjusted number of employed persons increased by 3 000 persons from September (average of August-October) to December (average of November-January)". In total, there were 1.47 million unemployed people, 46,000 more than for the three months to September but it's 123,000 fewer than recorded past year.

Olympic Ice Dancer Gabriella Papadakis Calls Wardrobe Malfunction a 'Nightmare'
While skating with her partner Guillaume Cizeron , the top of Papadakis' costume came undone , briefly exposing her left nipple. They have edited out the moment where Papadakis breast is momentarily exposed for future broadcasts and online videos.

Elsewhere, the statistics agency found an uptick in wages, which could conversely harden the resolve of some rate-setters at the Bank of England to raise interest rates again, possibly as soon as May. That marked the strongest two quarters for productivity since the 2008-9 recession, the O.N.S. said. And private sector pay growth accelerated to 2.6% from 2.3%.

United Kingdom pay growth is still slower than inflation, which is running at 3 percent.

Average earnings beat forecasts, the ONS said, with earnings (both including and excluding bonuses) increasing by 2.5% over the data period, compared to an expectation of 2.4% growth. BoE officials are likely to note pay jumping 2.8 percent in December alone.

ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: "While this is the sharpest increase in the unemployment level ONS has seen in nearly five years, the number of people in work has continued to rise and there are fewer "economically inactive" people - those neither working nor looking for a job". In particular, fewer citizens from eastern European countries were in work than in the year before. On Wednesday it said it now looked clear that Hammond would undershoot this "by a significant margin".