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Ian Brinkley

Surprising weakness in jobs numbers could be warning of harder times ahead

Authors: Ian Brinkley

15 July 2015

“The weakness in the employment numbers is very surprising given the recent strong performance of the labour market. The fall is driven by fewer people in self-employment and in part time work for employees.

“The impact on unemployment has been small, partly because the numbers of those outside’ the labour market - and therefore not counted as unemployed by the official definition - who would like a job but can’t get one have gone up.

“The recovery in wages also seems to have stalled, with regular pay growth over the three months to May little changed from the previous estimate covering the three months to April.

“We should not read too much into one month’s figures, which could prove to be a short-term blip.

“But it is still a warning that the optimism about economic and labour market prospects in the Chancellor’s Budget speech cannot be taken for granted.

“If the exceptionally strong jobs performance of the UK economy is coming to an end, then it will make it harder to meet some of the Government’s ambitious labour market objectives such as the National Living Wage.”