Commenting on today's labour market statistics, Ian Brinkley, chief economist at The Work Foundation, Lancaster University, said:
“The labour market is still powering ahead, with total employment up by over 250,000, comparing the three months to May with the previous three months, and unemployment has dropped from 6.9% to 6.5%. Even more encouragingly, the biggest single contribution has come from full-time jobs for employees.
“Average weekly earnings growth remains stubbornly low, with regular pay increasing by just 0.7% comparing the three months to May, with the same three months a year ago. This is well behind the recent rise in the consumer price index, suggesting the squeeze on living standards for some households will continue.
“There has been much speculation that the Bank of England will start increasing interest rates soon. However, the labour market is clearly generating no inflationary pressure and there is no reason why the continued fall in unemployment should be of great concern to the Monetary Policy Committee.
“There is still a lot of spare capacity in the labour market – the number of people in part-time jobs who would like more work has fallen, but still remains at very high level (see the latest estimates of under-employment by Bell and Blanchflower on The Work Foundation website).”
Notes to editors
1. Ian Brinkley, chief economist and Geraint Johnes, director, are both available for interviews, blogs, briefings, analysis, and written comment.
2. The Work Foundation transforms people’s experience of work and the labour market through high quality applied research that empowers individuals and influences public policies and organisational practices. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.