UK unemployment rate unchanged at 7.7%

UK unemployment rate unchanged at 7.7%

London: Unemployment in Britain for the three months ending in September held steady at 7.7%, unchanged from the level reported a month earlier, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday.

The Bank of England meanwhile revealed no movement within the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee toward raising the all-time low base rate or pouring more billions into economic stimulus.

The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 3,700 to 1.47 million.

The number of people with jobs rose to 29.2 million, 286,000 higher than a year earlier. The number of people working part-time because they could not find full-time employment rose by 67,000 in the three months to a record high of 1.15 million.

“Significantly, job vacancies fell 27,000 in the three months to October. The biggest fall was in education suggesting that the public sector cuts are already biting there," said Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight.

The majority of the Monetary Policy Committee remains content to tolerate an inflation rate which rose to 3.2% in October while maintaining an expansive policy to support growth.

And for now, the outlook is “highly uncertain," Bank of England governor Mervyn King said this week in a letter to Treasury chief George Osborne.

“With plenty of spare capacity and major public sector job cuts to come, the labor market should be a strong source of downward pressure on inflation over the coming quarters," said Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics.