The unemployment rate stable
According to a report by Office for National Statistics (ONS) today, the number of people employed in Britain fell by the most in more than two years in the three months to September amid signs that slower growth has reduced demand for workers.
The employment rate, which measures the proportion of employed people aged 16-64, hit 75 per cent, down from 75.1 per cent in the said period. In total, there are 32.06m people at work in the UK, according to the figures, which is 14,000 fewer than for April to June 2017.
According to ONS, both employment and unemployment were down due to a rise in the number of people who have stopped looking for work.
After rising strongly in recent years, the number of people in employment fell by 14,000. The inactivity rate rose by the most in nearly eight years.
A further fall in unemployment may look positive, but ONS has expressed some concerns. “After two years of almost uninterrupted growth, employment has declined slightly on the quarter. However it remains higher than it was this time last year, and as always we would caution people against reading too much into one quarter’s data,” said Matt Hughes of the ONS.
“Unemployment also fell on the quarter, but there was a rise in the number of people who were neither working nor looking for a job – so-called economically inactive people,” the report added.