Chambers comments on ONS labour market data

Commenting on the ONS labour market figures for February 2020, published today, BCC Head of Economics Suren Thiru said:

“The jobs market remains remarkably robust, with employment levels rising despite the UK economy stalling at the end of last year.

“However, the strong headline figures mask underlying problems. Lingering economic uncertainty can mean companies hire staff to fill orders rather than investing for the long-term, weakening productivity.

“Slowing wage growth is a concern as it could trigger a broader slowdown in household spending, a major driver of UK economic growth. A weak economy, low productivity and high employment costs are limiting increases in pay settlements.

“The forthcoming Budget must take steps to close the skills gap, with more funding for vocational and technical education and improved flexibility for the Apprenticeship Levy to better meet business needs.”

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