The British pound fell against the U.S. dollar after the country's unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017 from 4.3% in the three months to November 2017, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.
The pound was down about 0.4% to $1.3943 by 10:18 a.m. in London. The unemployment rate was 4.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Average weekly earnings for British employees, not adjusted for price inflation, grew more than expected, at 2.5%, including and excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier. In real terms, average weekly earnings dropped by 0.3%, both including and excluding bonuses, year over year.
The employment rate stood at 75.2%, higher than 74.6% recorded a year earlier. The number of people in work increased 88,000 to 32.15 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to the third quarter of 2017. Year over year, the number of people in work rose by 321,000.
The number of unemployed people increased by 46,000 to 1.47 million in the October-December 2017 period compared to the July-September 2017 period.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits stood at 823,000.