Unemployment rates fell before referendum

The latest UK jobs numbers show unemployment falling to 1.65 million, down by 54,000 from the previous period, with the unemployment rate now at 4.9%.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics show that wage growth has risen slightly – with average earnings, including bonuses, up by 2.3%, a slightly raised rate of growth compared to the previous period.

However, it must be acknowledged that these figured were collected before the EU referendum result and since then the markets have fluctuated considerably. Many business owners are reported to be cautious about the future health of the economy.

Responding to these figures, Federation of Small Businesses chairman Mike Cherry said: “The unemployment rate is at historically low levels, but this does not seem to be translating into broader business confidence. Clearly there are other factors at play which, although not hitting jobs now, are causing business owners to take a cautious approach.

“Small businesses are already dealing with considerable new cost challenges, including the National Living Wage and pensions auto-enrolment deadlines. With the result of the EU referendum bringing even greater uncertainty about the future – small business will need reassurances from Government that it will support them and listen to their needs throughout the coming negotiations.”