UK jobless rate falls to lowest since 1975

Published: August 14, 2018 15:23:01 | Updated: September 01, 2018 13:36:42


Britain’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1975 during the second quarter (Q2) and productivity picked up, but wage growth slowed, official data showed on Tuesday.

The number of European Union nationals working in Britain also unexpectedly fell by the largest annual amount since records began in 1997, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.0 per cent in the Q2, the lowest since the three months to February 1975, beating economists’ forecasts for it to hold steady at a previous low of 4.2 per cent.

The drop came despite a smaller-than-expected number of jobs created over the April through June period of 42,000, reports Reuters.

The ONS also said output per hour worked grew by 1.5 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter, the biggest increase since late 2016 after a 0.9 per cent rise in the first quarter of 2018.

Annual wage growth, however, slowed to a nine-month low of 2.4 per cent. The changes to the timing of annual bonus payments were partly responsible, said the ONS.

The economy warmed up a little in the Q2 from its winter slowdown of early 2018, official data showed last week, but there was no sign of an end to its stuttering performance ahead of Brexit next year.

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