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Employment rate in UK hits record with numbers of EU workers at an all-time high

Posted by | August 21, 2017 | Mobility, News

Employment has reached another all-time high – but pay rises are still being outstripped by inflation. The number of people in work went up by by 125,000 to 32.07 million in the three months to June, with the employment rate hitting a record 75.1 per cent.

The number of EU citizens in the workforce also reached a new high, despite fears that the referendum result could have triggered an exodus.  Pay growth picked up pace slightly, easing the pressure on cash-strapped households.

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The number of people in work went up by by 125,000 to 32.07 million in the three months to June, with the employment rate hitting a record 75.1 per cent. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said wages increased by the equivalent of 2.1 per cent a year for April to June, up from 2 per cent from March to May.

But the figure was still well below the rate of inflation, which has been running as high as 2.9 per cent on the CPI measure over the period. Once inflation is taken into account, total pay in real terms fell by 0.5 per cent both including and excluding bonuses. There were an estimated 2.37 million people from EU member states excluding Britain in employment between April and June this year. The figure is up by 126,000 on the same period in 2016 – which included the Brexit vote – and the highest number since comparable records started 20 years ago.

Statistics covering workers’ country of birth rather than nationality also showed an increase. Office for National Statistics senior labour market statistician Matt Hughes said: “The number of workers born elsewhere in the EU continues to increase, but the annual rate of change has slowed markedly.” Within the overall tally of EU workers, different trends are apparent when the statistics are broken down by groups of nations. In the second quarter of this year there were just over one million nationals of 14 long-term member states including Germany, Italy, Spain and France employed in the UK.

The number of EU citizens working in the UK has hit a new record high, official figures show. There were an estimated 2.37 million people from EU member states excluding Britain in employment between April and June this year.

The figure is up by 126,000 on the same period in 2016 – which included the Brexit vote – and the highest number since comparable records started 20 years ago.

Statistics covering workers’ country of birth rather than nationality also showed an increase. In the second quarter of this year there were just over one million nationals of 14 long-term member states including Germany, Italy, Spain and France employed in the UK. This figure has increased from 947,000 during the equivalent three months of 2016, when the EU referendum was held. There has also been a rise in the number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK, passing the third of a million mark to reach 337,000 in April-June. Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 and restrictions on citizens of the two countries working in Britain were lifted in January 2014.

In contrast to rises across the other country groups, the figures show a fall in the number of nationals of eight central and eastern European states working in the UK. There were an estimated 997,000 employees from the so-called EUA8 countries which joined the union in 2004 – Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. This number was down by around 11,000 compared to a year earlier and the first time since the referendum that it has dipped below a million.

This figure has increased from 947,000 during the equivalent three months of 2016, when the EU referendum was held. There has also been a rise in the number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK, passing the third of a million mark to reach 337,000 in April-June.

Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 and restrictions on citizens of the two countries working in Britain were lifted in January 2014.

The rise in the cost of living held steady at an annualised rate of 2.6 per cent in July, in line with the rate for June.

ONS senior labour market statistician Matt Hughes said: ‘The employment picture remains strong, with a new record high employment rate and another fall in the unemployment rate.

‘Despite the strong jobs picture, however, real earnings continue to decline.’

In fresh evidence of the strength of the jobs market, the unemployment rate dropping by 0.2 per cent to 4.4 per cent for the three months to June, its lowest level since 1975.

The number of people out of work fell by 57,000 on the quarter to 1.48 million – a 12-year low.

Meanwhile, the so-called claimant count fell by 4,200 in July to 807,800.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: ‘These statistics show that record levels of people are in work across the country and earning a wage, which is great news.

‘Over the past year the rise in employment has been overwhelmingly driven by permanent and full-time jobs, as employers continue to invest in Britain’s strong economy.

‘The task now is to build on this success through Jobcentre Plus and our employment programmes so that everybody can benefit from the opportunities being created.’

Sterling, which has been in the doldrums this week, bounced on the news.

The pound was up 0.2 per cent against the dollar at 1.28 US dollars, while the British currency flirted with 1.10 euros, up 0.3 per cent on the day.

 

Source; DailyMail

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