Unemployment hits lowest level in 40 years

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

The fall was the largest annual amount since records began in 1997.

The British unemployment rate shrugged off Brexit worries to reach a low not seen for 43 years, according to data released on Tuesday.

There are 1.36 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking to work), 124,000 fewer than for a year earlier. However, these figures show that the size of the United Kingdom workforce is shrinking at the same time as vacancies for skills and labour grow.

"The Government needs to guarantee that European Union workers can continue to work even in a "no deal" scenario".

The unemployment rate underlines the continued strength of the labor market, despite a slowdown in the rate of job growth in the three months to the end of June to just 42,000.

The unemployment rate is four per cent - the lowest since February 1975.

The Kingdom's official jobless rate dropped to 4.0% in June, while the claimant count change showed a bigger-than-expected increase.

The figures showed that productivity also grew with the number of people whose main job was a zero-hours contract falling by the most since 2000.

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The number of people classed as economically inactive, including students, those on long-term sick leave, taken early retirement or who have given up looking for work, increased by 77,000 to 8.7 million in the latest quarter, giving a rate of 21.2 per cent.

Here's something economists have thought for decades that they know for sure: that if unemployment keeps getting lower, wages will improve.

"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.

This has been partly attributed to confusion among migrant workers as to their employment rights after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

It means the number of European nationals in the United Kingdom now sits at 2.28 million.

The BOE raised interest rates on Aug 2 for only the second time since the financial crisis.

"Despite the further tightening of the labor market, earnings growth remained weak - indeed both total and regular earnings growth softened in the three months to June", said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club.

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