Home Economy Small firms welcome strength in UK job market
“The strength of the UK job market statistics shows the determination of our small businesses to grow and take on new people…”
The latest UK jobs numbers show unemployment falling to 1.64 million, down by 52,000 from the previous period, with the unemployment rate continuing at 4.9%.
Wage growth has risen slightly – with average earnings, including bonuses, up by 2.4%, a slightly higher rate of growth compared to the previous period.
Today’s figures are the first to be published which include the effect from the introduction of the National Living Wage.
The continuing strong performance of the labour market suggests that businesses have, for now, managed to absorb the cost of the new wage and maintain slow but steady growth in job and wages.
Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “The strength of the UK job market statistics shows the determination of our small businesses to grow and take on new people.
“Since the 2009 downturn small firms have been at the forefront of creating new opportunities and these figures proves they are continuing to do so.
“Small businesses are dealing with considerable new cost challenges, including the National Living Wage and pensions auto-enrolment deadlines.
“However, our data suggests small businesses are playing their part and choosing to absorb these costs rather than suspend hiring.
“Looking forward, we know the result of the EU referendum has brought new uncertainty about the future and this could impact future jobs growth.
“Small business will need reassurances from Government that it will support them and listen to their needs throughout the coming negotiations.”