February 2018 UK labour market report 21 March 2018

  • Prior -7.2k
  • Jan ILO unemplyment rate 4.3% vs 4.4% exp. Prior 4.4%
  • Jan average weekly earnings 2.8% vs 2.6% exp 3m y/y. Prior 2.5%
  • ex-bonus 2.6% vs 2.6% exp 3m y/y. Prior 2.5%. Revised to 2.7%
  • Employment change 168k vs 84k exp. Prior 88k

As noted in the preview, we’ve seen a differential in the wages between headline and ex-bonus. That hasn’t really mattered though as the rest of the report is decent, especially with the large employment gains. GBPUSD has hit a high of 1.4062 from 1.4020.

ONS notes;

  • There were 32.25 million people in work, 168,000 more than for August to October 2017 and 402,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 1.45 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 24,000 more than for August to October 2017 but 127,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) fell by 0.2% excluding bonuses, but were unchanged including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

That last headline isn’t good reading for the BOE but it depends how they want to spin it tomorrow if they’re going to tip the nod to a may hike.

Ryan Littlestone

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