As expected, there were no significant changes in labour market conditions in October. The number of people out of work increased 1,631 or 1.2 percent to 134,800 but this still left the jobless rate unchanged at 3.0 percent. Seasonally adjusted, unemployment fell 1,449 or 1.0 percent to 139,487 but, again, the rate held steady at 3.1 percent.
However, there was further good news on vacancies which increased 1.0 percent versus September to sustain annual growth at a healthy 12.9 percent rate. This bodes well for jobs further out.
Today's data are in line with a moderate pace of economic recovery. However, as the October SECO consumer survey indicated, the upturn remains too muted to provide households with the confidence needed to bolster their purchasing plans. In turn, this is helping to keep a lid on inflation.