United Kingdom jobless rate falls to lowest since 1975 but pay growth weakens

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%.

Compared with the same three months of 2017 - when Scottish employment was at a record high - the number seeking work was up by 7,000, and the number of those aged 16 to 64 in employment was down by 3,000.

The drop came despite a smaller-than-expected number of jobs created over the three-month period of 42,000.

"This will not be what the Bank of England will have wanted to see, as one of the justifications for (its) decision to hike rates earlier this month was that it was expecting wage growth to start lifting off".

The unemployment rate fell to 4% in the quarter to June.

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.

Job vacancies increased by 20,000 to a record high of 829,000, while average earnings increased by 2.4 per cent in the year to June, down from 2.5 per cent the previous month.

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Job vacancies increased by 20,000 to a record high of 829,000 as the number of non-EU nationals working in the United Kingdom increased by 74,000 to 1.27 million.

Wage growth slowed to 2.4pc, with earnings rising exactly as much as prices.

Excluding bonuses, pay growth fell to 2.7 percent, well below the 4 percent rate typical before the financial crisis a decade ago.

According to the publication, the number of European Union nationals working in the country fell by 86,000 in year to June - making it the largest annual fall since comparable records began in 1997.

Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: "The number of people in work has continued to edge ahead, though the employment rate was unchanged on the quarter".

The number of nationals from the eight East European countries that joined the EU in 2004 fell by 117,000, an 11.7 percent drop on the year.

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