Employment in Britain reaches all-time high

Employment in Britain reaches all-time high

Between April and June, 3000 more Scots became unemployed taking the total number to 107,000.

According to the ONS, nominal wages grew by 2.1% but coupled with a 2.6% inflation rate, as figures out yesterday showed, workers' pay is likely to be squeezed.

Overall wage growth in real terms fell by 0.5 per cent.

ONS senior labour market statistician Matt Hughes said: 'The employment picture remains strong, with a new record high employment rate and another fall in the unemployment rate.

United Kingdom unemployment declined to 4.4% in the three months to June from 4.5% the previous month and compared with consensus forecasts of an unchanged rate.

Meanwhile, the number of employed workers rose less than expected, climbing by 125,000 to 32.1 million in the quarter to June, compared to the previous three months.

However, Scotland's jobless rate of 3.9% was below the United Kingdom figure of 4.4%.

In light of Tuesday's news that inflation held steady at 2.6 percent in July, the earnings figures suggest pay packets have slightly more purchasing power than they had before.

"One slight caveat to this is that we have also seen a rise in the economic inactivity rate among this age group over the past year, so not all those leaving unemployment are doing so to begin work".

However, wages are still struggling to keep pace with the cost of living.

"Today's report shows that the United Kingdom labour market remained strong in the second quarter despite some signs of faltering economic momentum".

However, real wage growth declines, with wages growing just 2.1% against inflation of 2.6%. However the latest data had some positive news for consumers, with employment continuing to rise and earnings stronger in the second quarter than economists had forecast.

"Separate figures confirm that productivity has been falling throughout 2017 - this matters as rising productivity is the only sustainable route to higher wages and better living standards".

"It's therefore incumbent upon the Government to work with businesses to protect the UK's flexible labour market, and design an industrial strategy that will drive productivity and wage growth".