• February ILO unemployment rate 3.8% vs 3.8% expected
  • Prior 3.9%
  • February employment change 10k vs 50k expected
  • Prior -12k
  • February average weekly earnings +5.4% vs +5.4% 3m/y expected
  • Prior +4.8%
  • February average weekly earnings (ex bonus) +4.0% vs +4.0% 3m/y expected
  • Prior +3.8%

The number of payrolled employees in the UK rose by 0.6% with early estimates indicating the figure to be 29.6 million. Relative to the pre-pandemic period i.e. February 2020, the number of payrolled employees was up by 1.9%. The jobless rate continues to trickle lower, suggesting further tightness in the labour market but total hours worked is still seen below pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, growth in average pay remains elevated but the figures are still distorted somewhat by base effects though to a lesser degree at this point. But a notable trend is that as inflation is increasing in recent months, it is causing real pay growth to drop: