Sparkling employment figures mask real picture of UK economy

Not only are most new jobs low-skill and low-wage, but the total number of ‘hidden jobless’ remains high

Falling unemployment has been the one bright spot in what has been a distinctly mediocre year for the economy. Harold Wilson was prime minister the last time Britain had a jobless rate as low as 4.3%.

When the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee meets this week to discuss interest rates, the state of the labour market will feature prominently. Many of the members think that the UK is at, or very close to, full employment and that any further falls in joblessness will lead to wage inflation.

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