UK jobless rate holds at 4.2pc | 2018-07-18 |

UK jobless rate holds at 4.2pc

    18 July, 2018 12:00 AM printer

LONDON: Britain's unemployment rate held in May at the lowest level since 1975, official data showed on Tuesday.

The jobless rate stood at 4.2 percent in the three months to the end of May, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement, reports AFP.

That was unchanged from the level for the three months through to the end of April.

It's a busy week for British economic data, with analysts looking closely for clues about the outlook for UK interest rates.

"Markets are still expecting the Bank of England to raise interest rates in August," Ben Brettell, senior economist at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown, said following Tuesday's jobless figures. "But given the increasingly uncertain climate I think there's a real chance policymakers will sit on their hands and wait for firmer signals the economy is on the right track before risking raising borrowing costs."

The Bank of England is seen as likely to hike in August its main lending rate by a quarter-point to 0.75 percent, despite an uncertain UK economic outlook owing to Brexit and trade war fears. "The case for raising interest rates in August may have strengthened, but is hardly compelling," Deloitte chief economist Ian Stewart said following Tuesday's data.

"Growth has edged up after a lacklustre start to the year. However, low unemployment is yet to generate serious wage pressures and Brexit uncertainties continue to reign," he added.