New figures are encouraging, say experts
The number of unemployed fell by 39,000 to 1.63 million between May and July, official figures have shown.
The Office For National Statistics said that the unemployment rate was 4.9 per cent, down from 5.5 per cent a year earlier.
Growth in average weekly earnings including bonuses slowed slightly to an increase of 2.3 per cent on last year.
Neil Carberry, CBI director of people and skills, said: “With much of the data still pre-Referendum, it’s too early to make any assumptions about the effect of June’s vote to leave the European Union on the UK’s labour market.
“But the strength of employment growth in the first half of this year is encouraging, and highlights the resilience of the UK’s flexible labour market.
“Maintaining this flexibility as we navigate the challenges and opportunities the country faces following the EU Referendum will be vital for our future prosperity, pay and job creation.”
Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “With employment rising sharply and unemployment continuing to fall, the latest figures confirm that the UK jobs market remains in good shape. However, while one must not give undue weighting to a single month’s figures, the rise in the claimant count suggests the labour market could begin to soften in the coming months if this trend continues.
“As predicted in our recent economic forecast, weaker employment alongside expected increases in inflation could trigger a broader economic slowdown by squeezing household spending – a major driver of UK economic growth.”