U.K. Job Growth Slows Again, Even as Unemployment Rate Falls

By Geoffrey Smith — in the U.K. slowed sharply in the three months through July, as the labor pool dried out amid the summer’s heatwaves and the after-effects of the pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics said only 40,000 net jobs were created in the period, down from 160,000 in the three months through June, and well below analysts’ forecasts for 128,000.

Even so, the fell to 3.6% of the population, its lowest in nearly 50 years, because of the number of people leaving the workforce altogether. The economic inactivity rate rose by 0.4% to 21.7%, largely driven by those aged 16 to 24 years and those aged 50 to 64 years. For the elder bracket, the increase was due largely to long-term sickness, the ONS said. 

The number of those also rose last month, the ONS said, by 6,300. That was also considerably worse than July’s drop of 14,500 and worse than expectations for another drop of 13,200.

Meanwhile, the lack of spare labor allowed those in work to continue to press for higher wages. accelerated to 5.2% from 4.7%. Including bonuses, in the year through July were up 5.5%, up from 5.2% through June.

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