Unemployment in Scotland drops as European Union workers leave UK

Construction workers work on a site in London February 19, 2014.

The high number of vacancies suggests that the number of Brits in employment could rise significantly in the near future.

Britain's economy warmed up a little in the second quarter from its winter slowdown of early 2018, official data showed last week, but there was no sign of an end to its lacklustre performance in the run-up to next March's Brexit. Economists had expected the rate to remain at 4.2% level. "This hasn't happened yet", said Emma-Lou Montgomery, an associate director at Fidelity International. The claimant count rate steadied at 2.5%.

The jobless rate fell to 4pc in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics said, down from 4.2pc in the previous three-month period.

This is below the Scottish unemployment rate of 4.2%.

The drop came despite a smaller-than-expected number of jobs created over the three-month period of 42,000. Pay growth excluding bonuses was up 2.7%, the slowest rate since January.

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The ONS also said the three months to the end of June saw the largest fall in European Union nationals working in the United Kingdom since records began in 1997, with a drop of 86,000 to 2.28m.

The UK wages excluding bonuses rose by 2.7% y/y compared to 2.7% y/y expected.

However, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said he was "concerned that these numbers show a worsening unemployment picture of the year", adding: "With Scotland's economy continuing to lag behind the rest of the United Kingdom, it is important that the Scottish government take the necessary steps to create the right conditions to grow our economy".

But the numbers hinted that, as the employment market is growing, the United Kingdom workforce is shrinking - partly due to Brexit.

"The growth in employment is still being driven by United Kingdom nationals, with a noticeable drop over the past year in the number of workers from the so-called A8 eastern European countries in particular".

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