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UK employment falls by most since 2015

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 01:50

The number of people in work in the UK has fallen by the most in more than two years in the three months to September, a latest sign of weakness in Britain's Brexit-bound economy. David Pollard reports.

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As dream jobs go, this may be it if you're a Formula One fan. British team McLaren is on the hunt for a new simulator driver for virtual racing. And not just from Britain - the 12-man shortlist includes a Danish doctor and a French father of two. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANDIDATE DAVID LE GARFF OF FRANCE, SAYING: "I play since the age of three years. Just imagine how many time I passed in video games." For many in Britain, the jobs market may have just shifted down to neutral - even reverse. New data shows the jobless rate holding at a low 4.3 per cent. But employment down by 14,000 - its biggest fall in over two years. And the inactivity rate - a measure of people not working and seeking a job - rising by the most in nearly eight. Worse still for a Brexit-befuddled consumer: wage growth has slipped as a three per cent inflation rate continues to bite. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "What we see is his wages being eroded by that inflation rate ... So as he spends more of his income on an item such as food he has less to spend on items such as furniture - though prices of furniture are going down. We've seen growth of new car sales for instance weaken as well." The jobs market itself could also be hurting future wage prospects ..... (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARREN SINDEN, MARKET ANALYST, PEPPERSTONE, SAYING: "Despite a relatively full employment there is no bargaining power on behalf of labour. And I suspect that says a lot about the modern job market and the way that job vacancies are filled, the types of contracts that people find themselves on, zero hours contracts and short term working." Philip Hammond's job next week is to announce the latest UK budget. The finance minister may come under more and more pressure to help households with a new package of measures. Not simulation this time, but the real thing ....

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UK employment falls by most since 2015

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 01:50