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15 June 2016

Job market continues strong - but uncertainty ahead

The UK unemployment rate has fallen to 5%, the lowest since October 2005, according to official figures.

The latest UK jobs numbers show employment up by 55,000 and unemployment down by 20,000. Wage growth has risen slightly - with average earnings, including bonuses, up by 2.0%, a consistent rate of growth with the previous period.

“Unemployment is at historically low levels, but this does not seem to be translating into broader business confidence. Clearly there are other factors at play which, although not hitting jobs now, are causing business owners to take a cautious approach," said Mike Cherry.

The latest Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Small Business Index revealed small business confidence is at its lowest level since 2013. This suggests that while the labour market continues to be a sign of strength, the overall economic outlook is far from certain.

Mike Cherry continued: “Small businesses are already dealing with considerable new cost challenges, including the National Living Wage and pensions auto-enrolment deadlines. Whatever the result of the coming EU referendum – small business will need reassurances that the outcome will not increase the cost of doing business.”

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