Warning that post-lockdown jobs boom is endingon September 13, 2022 at 10:24 am

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The jobless rate falls to its lowest since 1974, but the employment rate and number of vacancies also drop.

chefImage source, Getty Images

The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 1974 in the three months to July, latest official figures show.

The jobless rate fell to 3.6% over the period, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the squeeze on pay remains, with rises in regular pay failing to keep up with the rising cost of living.

When taking the rise in prices into account, the value of regular pay fell by 2.8%, the ONS said.

Inflation – a measure of price rises – remains at a 40 year high of 10.1%. The latest inflation figure, due out on Wednesday, is forecast to be higher.

Despite the fall in the unemployment rate, James Reed, the chairman of recruitment business Reed, warned that the jobs market could be about to turn.

“The jobs boom that really began six months after the pandemic is probably coming to an end now,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.

“There are still very large numbers of vacancies and people are still advertising a lot of jobs, and that’s why we’ve seen unemployment continue to go down.

“The question is, what happens next? Will there be a jobs slump? That’s a concern clearly but our data at the moment doesn’t suggest that, because we’ve still got a large number of vacancies and a lot of employers are still struggling to recruit.”

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