Yael Selfin, Chief Economist at KPMG in the UK, comments on today’s UK labour market statistics:
“With unemployment at 4.3%, the UK labour market remains very tight. Furthermore, the fall in the employment level and the rise in the number of people who were economically inactive between August and October 2017 is disappointing.
“Regarding regional performance, the North East saw the most significant rise in employment, while Scotland suffered the largest loss. However, unemployment remained highest in the North East at 5.9% and lowest in the South East at 3%, continuing the trend of diverging regional performance.
“Real earnings fell by 0.4% compared with a year earlier (excluding bonuses, which were heavily concentrated in a few sectors), calling into question the ability of consumers to drive UK economic growth in coming months, and pointing at a potential weak Christmas retail season.
“A tight labour market and rising inflation are likely to embolden the Bank of England’s resolve to gradually raise interest rates, which together with falling employment and real earnings represent a more challenging environment for households.“
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