UK unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9% in the three months to May, much better than expectation of a surge to 4.7%. Regarding income, average earnings excluding bonus rose 0.3% 3moy in May, slightly above expectation of 0.6%. Average earnings including bonus dropped -3moy, better than expectation of -0.5%.

ONS noted: “The relative flatness of the unemployment figures may seem surprising, given that there are notable decreases in the number in employment. However, some initial exploratory analysis has suggested that a larger than usual proportion of those leaving employment are not currently looking for a new job and therefore becoming economically inactive, rather than unemployed.”

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Claimant counts dropped -28.1k in June, versus expectation of 250k rise. Nevertheless, since March, the claimant count has increased 112.2%, or 1.4m.

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