Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Campaigners Warn Of 'Brexodus' Following Record Drop In Number Of EU Workers

Campaigners Warn Of 'Brexodus' Following Record Drop In Number Of EU Workers

Young people also appear to be benefiting from the economic lift, with youth unemployment also at its lowest rate since record began in 1992.

The UK's unemployment rate, those not in work but who want a job, dropped from 4.2% over the previous three month period.

There are 1.36 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking to work), 124,000 fewer than for a year earlier. It continues a trend seen since the 2016 Brexit vote.

Average weekly earnings increased by 2.7% excluding bonuses, and by 2.4% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier, the ONS said.

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.

The jobless total fell by 3,000 to 118,000 among Scots aged over 16, while the number of people in work north of the border is also on the rise.

The market had been expecting the unemployment rate to remain steady at 4.2%.

Meanwhile, the overall unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in more than 40 years, falling by 65,000 to 1.36 million in the three months to June.

The number of people in work also increased over the three months from April to June, with 32.39 million people in work. Pay growth excluding bonuses was up 2.7%, the slowest rate since January.

The fall in European Union migrant labour was accompanied by a boost in pay for workers in the UK.

The BoE raised the bank rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent at the beginning of August, only the second rate rise in over 11 years.

"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.

However, Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said this now looked to have been a premature move.

"As such, there remains precious little sign that wage growth is set to take off - undermining a key assumption behind the Monetary Policy Committee's recent decision to raise rates".

"But if we want to turn these historically good unemployment figures into sustained growth, we need to boost the country's skills".

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