UK job board
Unemployment was unchanged, but the absolute amount of people in jobs was up 42,000 Reuters

The UK's unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5% in May to July 2015, compared to the previous quarter. During the same period in 2014, the unemployment rate was 6.2% higher.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that 42,000 more people are in work, and 10,000 more are unemployed compared to February to April, but the overall national rate stayed at 5.5%

Both total pay (which includes bonuses) and regular pay (without bonus) edged up by 2.9% compared to the year before, against an inflation rate of 0.1% in July. The absolute amount of jobs were at a record high in the quarter.

Chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, was pleased with the numbers. The Tory MP turned to twitter to say: "At 73.5%, employment rate at record high. But we still face risks from global economy [and] those at home who'd undermine our economic security."

The monthly unemployment rate was down slightly to 5.5% in July from 5.6% in June. The annual grwoth in regular pay rose to 3.2%, up 0.4 percentage points to the strongest pace since 2008. Considering the low inflation rate, the effect from the higher wages was stronger for UK workers.

Paul Hollingsworth, UK economist at Capital Economics, said: "Markets have taken the latest labour market statistics to be fairly hawkish. We have been saying for some time that markets had gone too far in expecting the [Monetary Policy Committee] to hold off from raising interest rates until the end of 2016."

He added that the unchanged unemployment rate would be unlikely to cause a rate hike by the MPC. Markets worlwide are also eagerly awaiting the decision on the rate in the US by the Federal Open Market Committee.

"However, we don't think that the latest data indicates that the MPC are likely to follow the Fed and raise rates this year. Indeed, Greater scope for a productivity rebound in the UK than in the US means that growth in unit wage costs will stay modest despite faster wage growth. Accordingly, we still think that the MPC can hold off until around Q2 next year."