LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The number of Britons claiming
unemployment benefits fell in November and the number of people
in work hit a record high, data showed.
CLAIMANT COUNT UNEMPLOYED NOV OCT F'CAST
Monthly change -3,000 6,000 (10,100) 7,000
Rate 4.8 4.8 (4.8)
ILO UNEMPLOYMENT AUG-OCT MAY-JULY AUG-OCT 11 F'CAST
Total (mln) 2.510 2.592 2.637
Rate 7.8 8.1 8.3 7.8
Change on qtr -82,000 n/a n/a
- Lowest unemployment level since March-May 2011
- Highest employment level since records began in 1971
VICTORIA CLARKE, INVESTEC
'Another decent report showing the jobs sector being in much
better health than the macro economy. We have seen employment
continue to pick up, claimant counts falling and ILO
unemployment has remained steady. Overall, further evidence that
the flexibility of the UK jobs market continues to support some
of those headline figures.'
'Earnings data is pretty weak and certainly that's running
short of headline inflation still. In terms of the feed across
to the macro story, that obviously implies that consumer
spending is likely to be weak.
'So whilst you have more people in work than you perhaps
would have had if the UK jobs market hadn't been so flexible,
they are being squeezed from a real earnings perspective and
that could weigh on consumer spending through the end of this
year and in the end hit the UK growth in the 4th quarter and at
the start of 2013.'
'I think the Bank of England will take heart from these
figures, but they will be worried by the apparent deterioration
in the macro figures, and that leaves scope for them easing
policy further with more QE in the New Year, if that trend
ALAN CLARKE, SCOTIABANK
'I thought it was a relief. We've had a lot of doom and
gloom of late, from industrial production, from trade balance
data and there was very good reason for the employment numbers
to soften further than they did. So it's actually a relief that
they didn't cool off even more. A 40k increase in the last three
months is obviously not as good as 100k recorded last month, but
there were some exceptionally big gains earlier in the year
which we were never going to match.'
'Claimant count is down on the month and revised better last
month, so despite having a super strong first half of the year,
the labour data are showing precious little sign of payback.'
On outlook for UK economy:
'It makes it less dark. I'm not sure it brightens it because
unemployment growth is slowing, wage inflation is very low but
consumer price inflation is accelerating so households' spare
income is getting squeezed and that's bad for growth. So it's
less dark than it could be.'
'I think it will be a pleasant surprise (for the BoE
that)it's not weaker. They said in their last set of minutes
that uncertainty and deleveraging meant that QE was not
appropriate in November, nothing has changed on that front. Yes,
the data has been gloomy but that doesn't change the reasons why
they didn't do QE in November.'
JAMES KNIGHTLEY, ING
'The UK jobs report shows some reasonably encouraging
newsflow on the labour market.'
'The main disappointment was the fact that despite the gains
in employment, there is no pick-up in wage growth, which remains
at 1.8 percent, year on year.
'The fact that UK employment is rising, consumer confidence
is up and anecdotal evidence of retail sales haven't been too
bad, offers some hope that the domestic situation in the UK is
'The BoE's Funding for Lending Scheme is also showing some
tentative signs of supporting the economy, with borrowing costs
edging lower. As a result, it seems the main risks for the UK
are currently external through the US fiscal cliff and Eurozone
worries, which the Bank of England can do little to offset other
than subtly try and talk down sterling.'
ROB WOOD, BERENBERG BANK
'Close to expectations, but I think the bottom line is that
employment growth is slowing. It Has slowed a bit over the past
few months and weak UK growth may be beginning to catch up with
the labour market.'
'I think they confirm the picture of stagnation heading into
Q4. With an economic contraction on the cards for the fourth
quarter, and it looking weak in Q1, we'll probably see some more
slowing in the labour market.'
'Earnings growth, which slowed and was below consensus
expectations (was) again a bit of downside news'
'The BoE were expecting a weak fourth quarter anyway so
maybe not too much news for them, but as things to continue to
weaken further, then it makes a move more likely.'
(Reporting by UK economics team)
Keywords: BRITAIN ECONOMY/
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