Labour market stats June 2016

The labour market saw some modest improvement with a slight fall in the unemployment rate comparing the three months to April 2016 with the previous six months. There was also a welcome fall in the unemployment rate among young people. The main reason is that more people under 25 moved into the “economically inactive” category and that in turn looks like it is driven by more people under 25 in full time education. So a “good” reason for a decline in unemployment, though of course we don’t know whether people are moving into higher and further education because of a lack of job opportunities or for more positive reasons.

The increase in employment was almost entirely driven by a resurgence in self-employment, likely to be linked in part to a strong recovery in construction employment in the three months to March.  We should however be cautious about drawing any linkages between these figures and the uncertainty generated by the EU Referendum.

As these figures only cover the period to April, it is probably still too early to say whether the EU Referendum has had much impact on employer’s hiring decisions before the result is known. Even when the result is known, it will be hard to disentangle the short-term impact from all the other potential influences on the labour market.