Brexit latest: Unemployment rates falls to 11-year low - but signs of hiring slowdown

The jobless rate edged down to 4.8 per cent in September, the lowest since 2005

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The Independent Online

The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate in 11 years, but analysts warned of signs of a hiring slowdown in the wake of the 23 June Brexit vote.

The Office for National Statistics reported that the jobless rate edged down to 4.8 per cent in September, from 4.9 per cent previously, the lowest rate since since the summer of 2005.

11 year low

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However, the ONS pointed to "signs that the labour market might be cooling", with the number of people in employment rising by only 49,000 in the three months to September, the slowest increase since the three months to March.

Labour market slowdown?

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The numbers out of work fell by 37,000 and the workforce grew by 12,000, which delivered the modest tick down in the jobless rate.

The numbers inactive rose by 49,000, or 0.5 per cent, the biggest increase since 2013.

In its most recent forecasts, the Bank of England predicted the jobless rate will increase to 5.6 per cent in two years' time as firms cut back on hiring due to the uncertainty created by the UK's departure from the European Union.

The more timely claimant count figures from the ONS showed a 9,800 increase in the numbers claiming the dole and universal credit in October, higher than the 2,000 increase forecast by City analysts.

The September claimant count increase was revised up to 5,600, from 700 previously.

"Today's figures confirmed the indications from the surveys that the leave vote is starting to sap the jobs recovery of its previous strength," said Ruth Gregory of Capital Economics.

Average weekly earnings in the three months to September rose at an annual rate of 2.3 per cent, unchanged from the previous ONS report.

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