U.K. sees biggest jobless rise since the pandemic

United States

The U.K. saw the biggest jump in unemployment since the pandemic, according to data released Tuesday that reinforces the likelihood the Bank of England will soon lower interest rates.

The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate in the three months to February rose to 4.2% from 3.9%. Economists had expected the jobless rate to tick up to 4%.

The statistics agency also estimates that payrolls fell by 67,000 in March after an 18,000 decline in February.

Average weekly earnings growth in February stayed at 5.6%.

The pound GBPUSD, -0.02% drifted down to $ 1.2419.

Michael Brown, senior research strategist at Pepperstone, said “the continued loosening of the labor market should leave policymakers on track to deliver the first 25bp cut of the cycle at the June MPC meeting, particularly with Committee members having flagged that policy will remain restrictive, even once the normalization process has begun.”