Money Minute Tuesday 17 December: UK unemployment and American houses

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In the UK this morning, we get the latest employment figures for the three months through October. Unemployment remains extremely low at just 3.8%. However, there have been tentative signs in recent months that demand for staff is easing off.

The other key figure to watch is wage inflation. Wages are currently rising at a rate of 3.6% a year, well ahead of inflation. If demand for staff is falling, then wage inflation should dip too.
Over in the US, we get figures on the number of houses that builders started working on last month. Demand for housing has been helped by falling mortgage interest rates in the US this year. As a result, housing starts look set to have risen for the sixth month in a row in November, which is good news for the construction industry and anyone who works in it, as well as the wider US economy.

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