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A strong and robust labour market, with high employment and pay continuing to rise

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The ONS labour market statistics, July 2019

Today’s (16 Jul) labour market figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the UK unemployment rate remained at 3.8% for March to May 2019, the lowest since October to December 1974. The employment rate also remained close to a record high at 76.0%.

However, the estimated number of vacancies in the jobs market continued to fall. There were 827,000 vacancies for April to June 2019, 19,000 fewer than for January to March 2019 and 9,000 fewer than a year earlier.

Tom Hadley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:

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“Today’s ONS figures show a strong and robust labour market, with high employment and pay continuing to rise. The overall picture remains positive – an economy that provides opportunity to millions. This is good news, but it should not be taken for granted.

“The declining number of vacancies continues to act as a warning sign. Our own Report on Jobs data shows a slight decline in permanent placements, as employer confidence and investment decisions remain stunted by Brexit uncertainty. At the same time, the challenge in sectors as wide-ranging as technology, healthcare and hospitality continues to be finding candidates to meet demand from employers.

“As we are set to see big changes at the top of government, the new PM and his cabinet must ensure that protecting and enhancing the UK jobs market is at the top of the agenda. This includes an open immigration system for businesses to attract the talent they need and ensuring that more workers have access to skills training and progression opportunities.”

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