BCC: Labour market continues to be a bright spot for UK economy

  • In the three months to May 2016, employment rose by 176,000, and unemployment fell by 54,000
  • The unemployment rate was 4.9%, down from 5.6% a year ago
  • Average weekly earnings increased by 2.3% including bonuses, and by 2.2% excluding bonuses

Figures published yesterday (20th July) by the ONS show that the UK’s labour market continues to be a bright spot for the UK economy. The rise in employment echoes our own survey data and shows that, before the EU referendum, businesses were confident enough to hire and grow despite the softening economic environment.

Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, businesses face new uncertainty in the transition to new economic and political arrangements. And not only from the vote, but also from how the apprenticeship levy and National Living Wage are implemented.

The government should guarantee that EU workers can stay in British firms following the referendum. To maintain business confidence, the government must provide clarity and stability, and press ahead with key infrastructure projects that will boost trade and productivity, empowering businesses to continue to grow and thrive.

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