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Economy in Brief

UK Claimant Count In Surprise Move Lower
by Robert Brusca March 17, 2010

The UK, an economy that has been as much of an enigma as any, surprised us with a drop in the claimant count for February. Jobless claims fell in number by 32K in February and their numbers are lower on balance over three-months and six months. Over the past 12-monhts claims are up by nearly 200K. But as the table shows the recent months mark some progress.

The rate of unemployment on this measure that dipped to 4.9% in February and is back to where it was some 12-months ago.

The Bank of England continues to deal with an inflation overshoot of its ceiling, and the economy continues to produce statistics that vary between giving us hope and leaving us with despair. But the claimant report for February is a clear bit of good news for an economy in need of some. With Europe and the EMU wracked by problems centering on Greece and other indebted countries and the UK being drawn into that discussion there is nothing like a bit good news on the labor markets to put the skeptics back in their place.

UK Claimant Count
  Feb-10 Jan-10 Dec-09 3mo 6-mo 12-mo
  Level in Month Avg in Period
U-rate 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
  Change in MO Change over period
Change on 000s -32.3 5.3 -9.6 -36.6 -20.9 194.7
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