Strong UK Employment Figures

The latest employment data from the Office for national Statistics shows employment up and unemployment down.

There were 29.95 million people in employment aged 16 and over, which is up 177,000 from April to June 2013 and up 378,000 an a year ago.

The employment rate for those age 16 to 64 was 71.8%, which is up 0.3 percent from April to June 2013 and up 0.6 percent from a year earlier.

The unemployment rate for the economically active was 0.2 percent down on April to june 2013 at 7.6 percent and the number of unemployed 16-64 year olds had decreased 69,000 to 8.92 million, which is 149,000 lower than a year ago.
Nida Ali, economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, commented:

“Today’s strong figures for the labour market show a sharp increase in employment and fall in unemployment on both the ILO measure and the claimant count. The labour market momentum has picked up further, supporting other strong economic indicators over the past couple of months.

“But, these figures will put pressure on the Bank due to expectations of an earlier interest rate rise. The single month estimate of unemployment has fallen to 7.1%, only 0.1ppt away from the 7% forward guidance threshold. The Bank’s expectation of unemployment falling to 7% only by mid-2016 now looks very conservative and we will probably see a significant improvement in the forecast in today’s Inflation Report.

“As yet, higher employment appears to be putting no upward pressure on wages. At just 0.8%, earnings growth is still lagging well behind the 2.2% inflation rate so the squeeze on households is yet to ease. However rising employment and a shortage of skills, as confirmed by the latest CBI survey, should allow workers to bargain for better wages as the labour market strengthens.”

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