World/Foreign News

Unemployment rate has risen, expect cuts in interest rates - ONS

Unemployment in the United Kingdom has increased as wages no longer grow, according to data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that suggests an upcoming cut to UK interest rates, Vanguard reports.

The ONS said that unemployment rate is now 3.9% compared to 3.8% it was in the final quarter of 2023.

The ONS added that average regular pay growth, excluding bonuses, fell to 6.1% from 6.2%, according to AFP.

When you consider the UK’s annual inflation rate in the period being discussed, wages only rose by 2%.

Like the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, the Bank of England is seen possibly cutting interest rates as soon as June as inflation cools and following multiple hikes to combat soaring prices.

“The easing in wage growth… is probably still a bit too slow for the Bank of England’s liking. But there are encouraging signs that a more marked slowdown is just around the corner and that an interest rate cut in June is possible” said Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics research group.

Meanwhile, there have been sharp reactions to the ban placed on foreign health workers and caregivers from bringing their families to the UK in 2024, announced by the UK Home Department yesterday.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department, James Cleverly, said this in a statement on X on Monday, March 11.

“From today (Monday), care workers entering the UK on Health and Care Worker visas can no longer bring dependents. This is part of our plan to deliver the biggest ever cut in migration,” Cleverly wrote.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has come under pressure from Africans, Asians, and Britons alike, for implementing such a drastic policy.

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