Employment in the UK has continued to soar despite claims Brexit could hamper job prospects, new figures reveal.
The Express reports that research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows a record number of people in the UK were in employed between October and December. The jobless rate remained at its lowest since 1975, remaining at four percent, while unemployment stayed at a similar rate with 1.36 million out of work. The study found that the number of people in work had shot up by around 167,000 from the previous quarter.
That figure is 444,000 higher than at the same time in the previous year.
According to the Daily Telegraph, in the past decade workers aged over 50 years old made up approximately 80 percent of the total employment growth during that time.
More than 32.6 million were found to be employed across the UK.
Employment Minister Alok Sharma told the BBC said: “While the global economy is facing many challenges, particularly in sectors like manufacturing, these figures show the underlying resilience of our jobs market – once again delivering record employment levels.”
ONS deputy head of labour market Matt Hughes added: “The labour market remains robust, with the employment rate remaining at a record high and vacancies reaching a new record level.
“The unemployment rate has also fallen, and for women has dropped below four percent for the first time ever.”
Many felt uncertainty around Brexit could see the rate of employment slow or even decline.
Andrew Wishart, UK economist at Capital Economics, claims the next quarter’s figures could slip.
He said: “The labour market data didn’t reflect the slip in hiring surveys in December, with employment rising. “However, the surveys deteriorated more markedly in January, so a Brexit effect might start to weaken employment growth in the next batch of official data.”
But Matt Weston, managing director of Robert Half UK – the world’s largest recruitment consultancy – was positive about the results.
Mr Weston said: “The UK jobs market remains strong with intensifying competition for top talent contributing to the rising number of people in employment. “The low rate of unemployment is further proof of the strengthening of the ‘buyer’s market’. “Employees with in-demand skill sets are benefiting from competitive salary negotiations as businesses are paying more than they initially planned to secure their favoured candidate.”
(Story source: The Express)