Employment rate drop shock

Employment rates have dropped surprisingly in the three months up to April this year.

The number of people in employment for the three months ending in April 2007 was 29.01 million, down 10,000 over the quarter but up 87,000 over the year.

This news may help the Bank of England, who will see the dip in employment as another reason to review the 5.5% base rate – high employment rates have been blamed for the UK’s record spending over the last few years.

This dip may allay fears of wages hiking up inflation.

But this will be bad news for buy-to-let landlords, who are already struggling to meet their rental covers as wages continue to remain static.

Total hours worked per week were 925.9 million, down 3.7 million over the quarter, but up 1.7 million over the year.

The unemployment rate was 5.5%, unchanged over the quarter but up 0.2% over the year.

Although employment rates were down, the number of unemployed people fell by 15,000 over the quarter but increased by 58,000 over the year, to reach 1.68 million.

This quarterly fall in unemployment occurred entirely among women.