Commenting on the labour market statistics for January 2017 published today by the Office for National Statistics, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“Overall, with employment levels still close to record levels and unemployment continuing to fall, the latest indicators confirm that the UK jobs market remains a major bright spot for the UK economy.
“While labour market conditions could soften over the next year as economic growth slows, the high degree of flexibility in the jobs market will help limit the extent of any uptick in unemployment.
“Although there was a welcome pick-up in average earnings growth, the gap between wage and price growth is narrowing. If this continues as we expect, real household incomes will be squeezed further, stifling consumer spending, which is a key driver of UK economic growth.
“More must be done to safeguard the long-term health of the UK jobs market by supporting firms looking to recruit and invest in their workforce, and ensuring companies have access to the workers they need.”