BCC Mixed labour market figures show that the recovery is still fragile

  • In the three months from May to July 2015, unemployment rose by 10,000 compared with the previous three months, but employment rose by 42,000 in the same period
  • Youth unemployment fell to 15.6% between May and July compared with 16.1% in the previous three months
  • Total pay in the three months from May to July was 2.9% higher than for the same period a year earlier

Commenting on the labour market statistics for August 2015 published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“Today’s job figures paint a mixed picture. It is disappointing that unemployment rose again, and there was also a slight increase in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in August.

“However, employment increased and the fall in the youth unemployment rate is also welcome news, although it remains considerably higher than the national average.

“Overall, the figures confirm our assessment that the UK recovery is progressing at a satisfactory pace, but the rise in unemployment also indicates that our recovery is still fragile and significant risks will persist in view of the uncertain international situation.

“Though the further increase in average earnings may be of concern to the MPC, the rate of increase remains below 3% and in the short term does not pose a threat to the Bank of England’s inflation target. We restate our view that the MPC should not consider increases in interest rates until well into 2016.”