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UK unemployment data - "Modest fall neither cancels economic warning lights nor proves April's surprise jump was a blip" - reaction from Indeed economist

Mariano Mamertino, economist at the global job site, Indeed, comments:

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“Such a modest fall in unemployment will neither cancel the warning lights on the UK’s economic dashboard, nor prove whether April’s surprise jump in the jobless total was a blip.

“Yet it’s clear that with strengthening global economic headwinds, and many employers holding off on hiring while the Brexit uncertainty persists, the UK economy is no longer creating new jobs at the rate it did last year.

“There’s also evidence that the introduction of the National Living Wage at the start of April has had a further chilling effect on employers’ appetite to hire.

“While the policy provided a welcome pay rise to thousands of Britain’s lowest paid workers, it may have unwittingly made life harder for jobseekers.

“In April, job vacancies fell in 12 of the 13 sectors tracked by Indeed’s UK Industry Employment Trends report.

“However there is an encouraging footnote to the ONS data - average weekly earnings are up by 2% on the same time last year. Modest though the progress is, it is comfortably outstripping inflation and thus translating into real wage growth.”

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