BCC: Labour market remains source of strength for UK economy

  • In the three months to March 2016, employment rose by 44,000 compared with the previous three months, with unemployment largely unchanged
  • In the three months to March 2016, the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds was 13.7%, slightly lower than in the pre-recession trough of February 2008
  • In the three months to March 2016, average earnings (in cash terms) rose by 2% including bonuses compared to a year earlier, and by 2.1% excluding bonuses


Commenting on the May 2016 UK labour market figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, BCC Chief Economist, said:

“Although the UK employment rate reached a record high, the cumulative picture – including manufacturing, trade and GDP figures – points to a softening in economic activity.

“The slowing pace of growth supports the findings of our own quarterly economic survey. However, the UK labour market remains flexible and dynamic, and is a source of strength for our economy.

“The modest growth in average earnings will reinforce arguments for persevering with low interest rates, but additional steps are needed to address specific issues such as skills shortages, which would help to unlock growth.”

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