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BCC: Job figures remain strong but lower wages support case against rate rises

In the three months (May – July 2014), the unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, the lowest since late 2008

Employment rose by 74, 000 compared with the previous three months, while unemployment fell by 146,000

Youth unemployment rate fell to 16.6%, down from 18.5% in the previous three months

Pay including bonuses rose by 0.6% compared with a year earlier, while pay excluding bonuses rose by 0.7%

In August 2014 the claimant count fell by 37,200 compared to July 2014, the 22nd consecutive decline

Commenting on the labour market statistics for September 2014, published today by the ONS,David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“These figures confirm that the UK labour market remains a source of strength for the UK economy. The real success story is the continued rapid fall in youth unemployment – however it is important to note that the figure is still above the national average. We are also concerned that the rise in employment figures in the past three months saw the smallest increase since Q2 2013.”

“Annual wage increases remain well below 1%which is much lower than the rate of inflation. This reinforces our belief that the MPC must delay raising interest rates until well into 2015. We must give businesses a period of stability with low interest rates, if we are to strengthen the economic recovery.”

 

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