Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Record numbers in work

Good news today on the jobs figures ...

Unemployment is also at the lowest for more than ten years: the UK unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9%, the lowest since July 2005, according to official figures. from , the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In the March-to-May period, the number of people in work rose by 176,000, with the employment rate remaining at a record high of 74.4%.

Earnings, not adjusted for inflation and excluding bonuses, rose by 2.2% compared with last year.
There were 23.19 million people working full-time, 401,000 more than for a year earlier.

"The labour market continued to strengthen in spring 2016, with record employment and the unemployment rate at its lowest since 2005," said ONS statistician Nick Palmer.

The unemployment total fell to 1.65 million in the March-to-May period, down 54,000 from the previous quarter

Of course, these figures cover the period BEFORE the UK vote to leave the European Union, let alone our actually leaving which will not happen for at least two years yet. If the effect of the vote to leave on markets and on company planning has an impact on employment in either direction we will not know for three months - and even then nobody will know for certain what would have happened.

So it is way too early for either side in the Brexit debate to start claiming to draw lessons from these figures.

Nevertheless it as a good thing that tens of thousands more people in Britain have the security of a job and a pay packet.

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