• In the three months to July 2016, employment rose by 174,000 and unemployment fell by 39,000
  • The unemployment rate was 4.9%, down from 5.5% a year ago
  • The claimant count in August 2016 rose by 2,400 compared with July 2016

Commenting on the labour market figures for August 2016, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“With employment rising sharply and unemployment continuing to fall, the latest figures confirm that the UK jobs market remains in good shape. However, while one must not give undue weighting to a single month’s figures, the rise in the claimant count suggests the labour market could begin to soften in the coming months if this trend continues.

“As predicted in our recent economic forecast, weaker employment alongside expected increases in inflation could trigger a broader economic slowdown by squeezing household spending – a major driver of UK economic growth.

“More must be done to provide businesses with the clarity and stability they need to grow and recruit, which must include a clear and immediate guarantee that EU workers can stay in British firms. Our data shows that the majority of businesses surveyed think that providing residency guarantees for EU workers would have a positive impact on their business.”