Unemployment falls to lowest level for 40 years UK News

16 August, 2018, 16:59 | Author: Regina Silva
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The number of people in work was 32.39 million people, 42,000 more than for January to March 2018 and 313,000 more than for a year earlier, according to the latest ONS figures. "While this can of course be caveated due to the fact that the unemployment rate only reflects those claiming benefits; the fact that the number of young people not in employment, education or training overall is low and getting lower is news to celebrate".

Across the United Kingdom, unemployment fell by 65,000 in the latest quarter to 1.36 million, the lowest figure since 1976, giving a jobless rate of 4%.

This is the lowest rate of unemployment since February 1975.

In the North West there were 148,000 people unemployed down 6,000 on the previous quarter giving a rate of 4.1 per cent.

The data also shows that annual wage growth remained at 2.7% in the year to June. It continues a trend seen since the 2016 Brexit vote.

The region's employment rate was 78.7%, 0.5% higher than the period from January to March, with almost 3.1 million people in work.

Flash figures for the second quarter show output per hour rose 0.4%, leaving productivity up just 1.5% year-on-year - below the rates enjoyed before the financial crisis.

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The official figures also slowed a fall of 104,000 in the number of those on of those on "zero-hours contracts" in their main job, to 780,000.

However although figures show a rise in productivity, there has been another slowdown in wage growth.Wages, excluding bonuses, grew by 2.7% in the three months to June, compared with a year ago.

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

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".

After increasing sharply during the financial crisis, the UK's unemployment rate has been rapidly dropping for nearly a decade.

"As such, there remains precious little sign that wage growth is set to take off - undermining a key assumption behind the Monetary Policy Committee's recent decision to raise rates".

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