Economists fear that resilience in the economy since the Brexit vote had started to waiver after employment figures show a fall by 6,000 to 31.76 million compared to the previous three-month period, knocking the employment rate down from its record high of 74.5 per cent to 74.4 per cent. Meanwhile the number of people out of work fell by 16,000 to 1.62 million, the Office for National Statistics said. “The labour market appears to have flattened off in recent months,” David Freeman, a senior statistician at the ONS, said. “While the employment rate remains high it is slightly down on the record set recently. Meanwhile a small fall in unemployment on the quarter was more than offset by a rise in economic inactivity.”
In a breakdown of the three-month figures, employment increased by 44,000 in August but then fell by 12,000 in September and 38,000 in October. “The honeymoon is over,” said Alan Clarke, head of fixed income strategy at Scotiabank. “After a stable period immediately after the referendum, hiring is now falling. This is the first genuine disappointment we have seen in the hard data since the Brexit vote.”
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