Wednesday, April 21, 2010

British Employment Numbers Were Weak, Not Strong

The pound strengthened today after employment numbers that were supposedly stronger than expected.

Yet what seems to have evaded the markets was that while jobless benefit claims did indeed dip, the more relevant broad unemployment numbers increased. Furthermore, employment continued to drop and fell as much as it did during previous months.

The fact that government employment rose and that private employment therefore fell even more than the overall number makes the whole thing look even worse.

Nominal wage increases picked up a bit, but so did price inflation, so real wages continued to fall.

The weather factor may have been depressed the numbers somewhat, but clearly no recovery can be seen in these numbers.