UK Jobless Rate Below Forecasts
The UK unemployment rate fell for a second month in a row to 4.9 percent in the three months to February, a period when the country was under a tight COVID lockdown. The rate came in also below market consensus of 5.1 percent, supported by the government's furlough scheme, which was extended last month until the end of September. The number of unemployed people was down by 50,000 to 1.67 million, the first decrease since October to December 2019, while employment levels dropped by 73,000 to 32.43 million, less than market consensus of a 150,000 decline. Meanwhile, employment was sharply down by 643,000 compared to the same period last year, the largest annual decrease since May to July 2009. Also, the number of employees on company payrolls fell by 56,000 between February and March, pushing up the total number of jobs lost since the coronavirus outbreak to 813,000.
14 hours ago