Unemployment falls significantly in East of England

Wages should improve as the pool of available employees shrinks but there is little sign of this happening

Wages should improve as the pool of available employees shrinks but there is little sign of this happening

Upward pressure on settlements is expected to come from the public sector, where millions of workers will this year benefit from the easing of a cap on pay increases in place since 2010. The number of people in employment is high while vacancies have hit a new record.

There were 2.28 million European Union nationals working in this country in the quarter to June, 86,000 fewer than a year earlier, the largest annual decrease since records began in 1997.

The number of people in work continued to increase - up by 42,000 to 32.39 million, although the rate remained at 75 per cent, said the Office for National Statistics.

Figures from the ONS show the United Kingdom unemployment rate fell to 4% between April and June, said the Office for National Statistics, below forecasts of 4.2%.

This is the lowest rate of unemployment since February 1975.

Unemployment in Scotland fell by 0.1% between April and June to 4.2%.

They also show a rise in productivity, but a slowdown in wage growth.

Annual wage growth, however, slowed to a nine-month low of 2.4 per cent.

The increase in weekly earnings for United Kingdom workers in real terms (adjusted for price inflation), increased by 0.4 percent, excluding bonuses, or by 0.1 percent including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

There were 1.36 million unemployed people in the United Kingdom over the three months, the ONS said, 65,000 fewer than in the previous data period. It continues a trend seen since the 2016 Brexit vote.

There are 780,000 people in employment on "zero-hours contracts" in their main job, 104,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

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.

"Shortages are already hampering firms' ability to compete and create jobs, so it's vital that the United Kingdom pursues an open and controlled post-Brexit immigration policy", Matthew Percival, head of employment at the Confederation of British Industry, said. Economists had expected it to stay at 4.2%.

Earlier this month, the Bank of England raised interest rates for only the second time in 10 years, as it sought to manage inflation amid signs of a strengthening United Kingdom economy.

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