Brexit Britain: Unemployment Lowest in 40 Years, Wages Up, EU Migrants Down

Unemployment has fallen to a 40-year low as the number of European Union nationals working in the United Kingdom drops.

The jobless rate fell to 4% in the three months to June, down from 4.2% in the previous quarter and the lowest since the three months to February 1975, said the Office for National Statistics.

"This will not be what the Bank of England will have wanted to see, as one of the justifications for (its) decision to hike rates earlier this month was that it was expecting wage growth to start lifting off".

Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: 'The number of people in work has continued to edge ahead, though the employment rate was unchanged on the quarter.

More people were in work over the period, the ONS added, saying that there were 32.39 million people in the United Kingdom with jobs, an increase of 42,000.

Annual wage growth, however, slowed to a nine-month low of 2.4 percent.

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There were 2.64 million Scots with a job bertween April and June, a rise of 12,000 over the previous period.

Earnings in cash terms, including bonuses, increased by 2.4 percent in the three month period. Total earnings for British workers excluding bonuses rose by 2.7% as expected, but earnings including bonuses increased by just 2.4%, below forecasts.

"Shortages are already hampering firms' ability to compete and create jobs, so it's vital that the United Kingdom pursues an open and controlled post-Brexit immigration policy", Matthew Percival, head of employment at the Confederation of British Industry, said.

However, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said he was "concerned that these numbers show a worsening unemployment picture of the year", adding: "With Scotland's economy continuing to lag behind the rest of the United Kingdom, it is important that the Scottish government take the necessary steps to create the right conditions to grow our economy". That was party offset by a 54,000 increase in Romanians and Bulgarians.

There are 780,000 people in employment on "zero-hours contracts" in their main job, 104,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

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