Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

United Kingdom unemployment at lowest since 1975

Job centre Unemployment is the lowest for more than 40 years
Russell Knight | 16 August, 2018, 17:00

The unemployment rate was 4.0%, the lowest level since December 1974 to February 1975.

There are 1.36 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking to work), 124,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

Responding to the news, the pro-Brexit group Get Britain Out tweeted: "Wait, didn't [the anti-Brexit People's Vote group] say Brexit is causing mass unemployment?..."

Job vacancies increased by 20,000 to a record high of 829,000, while average earnings increased by 2.4 per cent in the year to June, down from 2.5 per cent the previous month.

Job vacancies increased by 20,000 to a record high of 829,000 as the number of non-EU nationals working in the United Kingdom increased by 74,000 to 1.27 million.

Tej Parikh of the Institute of Directors, said: "The labour market remains in rude health, but despite the increasingly heated competition to fill vacancies, wage growth continues to be a challenge".

"A much better indicator of the health of the United Kingdom labour market is the employment rate and this has remained static".

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The unemployment rate for the United Kingdom as a whole fell to 4%, the lowest for more than 40 years, while the employment rate hit 75.6%.

The drop came despite a smaller-than-expected number of jobs created over the three-month period of 42,000.

Output per hour worked grew by 1.5 per cent year-on-year in the April-June period, the biggest increase since late 2016 after a 0.9 per cent rise in the first quarter of 2018. Pay growth excluding bonuses was up 2.7%, the slowest rate since January.

The official figures also showed 104,000 people who were employed on "zero-hours" contracts, which do not guarantee a set number of hours per week, left such work.

Dr Stuart McIntyre, of the Fraser of Allander Institute, an economic think-tank based at Strathclyde University, said Scotland and the United Kingdom were experiencing "historically low levels of unemployment and high levels of employment".

The fall in European Union migrant labour was accompanied by a boost in pay for workers in the UK.

The decline helps explain why the Bank of England (BoE) increased interest rates this month. Economists had expected the rate to remain at 4.2% level. Pay growth is anaemic at best.

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