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EY welcomes data showing resilient UK labour market

Dec 20
Tags: Ernst & Young LLP
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EY welcomes data showing resilient UK labour...

The UK labour market continues to show surprising resilience, according to EY, which was responding to the latest quarterly data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Employment increased by 24,000 in the three months to October, the data showed, following a decline of 58,000 in the three months to September.

As a result, the total number of people in employment rose to just over 32.8 million, only slightly below the all-time high recorded during the quarter to June this year.

Furthermore, the employment rate climbed to a new record high of 76.2 per cent, while unemployment dropped by 13,000 to 1.28 million. The current unemployment rate of 3.8 per cent is the lowest since 1974.

Discussing the figures, EY pointed out that the labour market has shown itself to be "remarkably resilient", with even a recent "limited relapse" taking a while to materialise.

The firm said one of the key factors in the recent stability of the jobs market has been the willingness of businesses to employ people, rather than commit to other investments during the recent economic uncertainty.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said: "The latest jobs data are firmer overall - after there had recently been some signs that the labour market had started to falter in the face of overall soft domestic economic activity, a weakening global economy and recent heightened Brexit and domestic political uncertainties."

EY also responded to data showing that the UK economy's return to growth in the third quarter was slightly stronger than previously reported, with GDP expansion revised up slightly to 0.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter. This followed a 0.2 per cent decline in Q2.

The company expects economic growth of 1.3 per cent for 2019.

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