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UK unemployment rose to 1.85 million in the April to June period. This is a rise of 25,000 on the previous quarter.

Despite this rise, over the last 12 months employment levels have continued to be higher with a total of 354,000 more people in work than a year before.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have suggested that earnings growth is slowing but earnings including bonuses rose 2.4% from a year ago. This compares with 3.2% growth in the March to May period.

There was no change from the previous figure in terms of pay, which still stands at 2.8% in the April to June period. This excludes bonuses.

However, the number of EU nationals who moved to the UK to work over the last year has increased by 12%.

The employment rate is the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 who are in work. The rate is now 73.4%, which is an increase of 72.8% from a year ago. In the UK, unemployment was highest in the North East at 8.1% of England and lowest in the South West 4.4%.

UK unemployment has continued to fall and the number of people who are in work has been on the increase, according to the latest official figures.

During the January to March period, the number of people out of work fell to 1.83 million, which is down 35,000 from the previous quarter. Compared with this, the total number of people in work rose to 31.1 million.

In April, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 12,600 to 764,000. An additional 202,000 people found jobs between January and March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In turn, this continued to boost the overall level of employment in the UK and this will hopefully continue to grow, with more people accepting jobs.

The UK employment rate was now at 73.5%, the highest since records began in 1971. However, on the other side of the coin, the unemployment rate fell to 5.5% in the January to March period, down from 5.7% in the October to December quarter. This was lower than the 6.8% level that was recorded a year ago.

According to the ONS, wages including bonuses rose by 1.9% in the quarter compared with the year before, and was up 2.2% if bonuses are excluded.


Some more good news has recently come out from both the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and from the Bank of England (BoE). Both are predicting rapid growth in the next year and both have revised 2013’s growth as well. Here’s what they are saying:

  • From the OECD: 2013’s economic growth in the UK has been upgraded to 1.4% from 0.8% and 2014 UK growth is set to rise to 2.4%.
  • From the BoE: 2013’s economic growth in the UK has been upgraded to 1.6% from 1.4% and 2014 UK growth is set to accelerate to 2.8%.

OECD revises 2014 UK growth to 2.4%

According the BoE, inflation has not been as high with a surprise drop in consumer prices brings it to 2.2%.

The announcements made yesterday at an OECD and BoE press conference confirms that the UK might be out of the worst of it regarding the fallout from the 2009 economic crash and subsequent back to back recessions and whilst most of Europe struggles to get in to positive growth territory the UK is rapidly climbing onwards and upwards.

Whilst this is great news for the UK as a whole, the growth may bring forward interest rate rises which will effect both businesses and consumers with mortgages holders in particular at potential risk.

The BoE’s forward guidance policy, introduced this August states that the Bank has pledged not to raise interest rates until the jobless rate comes down at least to 7%. Hitting 7% sooner could mean an earlier rise in interest rates. That would, in turn, mean higher repayments on loans and mortgages for many businesses and households.


The Bank Of England predicts that the 2014 UK growth could be as high as 2.8%

The new Bank of England chief, Mark Carney has tagged any interest rate rises to unemployment has bought forward the predicted deadline of the 7% unemplyment threshold from 2016 to the third quarter of 2015.

The revision has come as the official figures show the jobless rate declined to 7.6% in the three months to September, down from 7.8% in the previous quarter which is the lowest rate for three years.

The 2014 UK growth figures of between 2.4-2.8% means that 2014 should be a great year for businesses in Hastings and Rother and  it should be an interesting year ahead.

Let us know your views on this. Has your business seen a general pick up in the past year. Are you feeling more confident going in to 2014 then you were in 2013? Are you preparing for any interest rate rise?  We ‘d love to hear from you so leave your comments in the below.