UK unemployment rate falls to 11-year low

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The latest ONS statistics have been released that cover between April to June 2016 and July to September 2016 revealing that the number of people out of work has hit a low that has not been seen for over a decade.

UK unemployment fell by 37,000 to 1.6 million in the three months to September and the total number of people in jobs remained at a record high of 31.8 million, the figures showed.

The ONS said the latest figures brought the unemployment rate to its lowest level since the three months to September 2005.

Average weekly earnings increased by 2.3 per cent including bonuses and by 2.4 per cent excluding bonuses compared with a year earlier.

There were 876,000 unemployed men, 15,000 fewer than for the months leading up to the statistic pull and 82,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

The number of unemployed women has also decreased with the statistics revealing 728,000 unemployed women, 22,000 fewer than for April to June 2016.

Commenting on today’s publication of labour market statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which reports data for July – September 2016, Recruitment & Employment Confederation Director of Policy Tom Hadley says:

“The UK economy seems to have taken the shock referendum result in its stride so far. Our Report on Jobs data also shows employers are getting on with business as usual, with permanent placements in growth, now for three consecutive months after dipping into decline in June and July. Although the overall picture looks positive, this is the first set of data from the ONS collected after the vote to leave the EU – so we are yet to see longer term effects.

“Our jobs data shows 23 per cent of businesses plan to take on more permanent staff in the next three months. A further drop in the unemployment rate means the talent pool employers rely on is rapidly shrinking. The government needs to pay attention to skills shortages before they reach crisis point. We will continue to need workers from overseas in a range of sectors, from engineering to healthcare, and must ensure immigration policies reflect immediate labour market needs.

“Despite the resilient UK economy, employer confidence has been shaken. The government must support businesses to ensure they have the strong foundation needed to weather the continued uncertainty of the EU negotiations. We hope the Chancellor will take measures to prioritise business growth in the Autumn statement next week to ensure the economy continues to perform well.”

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