The unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.2% from 7.1%.
Although it should be noted that the UK’s unemployment rate is produced on a rolling three-month basis. Officials at the the Office of National Statistics argue that the 7.2% rate for the period from October through December should be compared to the 7.6% rate notched between July and September, which would be a decline in unemployment, not an increase. There’s a good explanation here.
There were 2.34 million unemployed Brits in the October to December period.
That’s down 125,000 from the period between July and Sept. 2013. But it’s up slightly from the September t0 November period published last month.
Compared to the prior year, the number of unemployed in the UK fell by 161,000.
A total of 30.2 million British subjects over the age of 16 were employed, an increase of 396,000 over the prior year.
The number of Brits claiming jobless benefits fell.
The number of Brits receiving unemployment benefits fell by 27,600 in January, to 1.22 million.
The bad news, however, is the UK wages—adjusted for inflation—continue continue to shrink.
That’s something wages have been doing pretty much relentlessly over the last few years, resulting in a punishing decline in living standards for many in the UK. In December, real wages were down another 0.5% compared to the year-ago period.