Responding to the latest official labour market statistics for the UK, showing there were 328,000 more people in work compared with a year earlier, Tej Parikh, Senior Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“The UK’s robust labour market continues to provide much-needed buoyancy for the economy in a period of stress.
“Businesses have been steadfast in their drive to take on workers and create positions. But as the pool of available talent shrinks, the competition for new hires grows more intense by the minute.
“Firms will increasingly be looking to invest in their existing staff and technology to compensate for the shrinking labour supply, but they will also need more support from the Government – particularly in the form of progress in the Industrial Strategy.
“The recent pick-up in salaries, coupled with the fall in inflation, will be welcomed by households, though the hangover of weak real wage growth over the past 18 months will continue to be felt on the high street for the time being.
“The Bank of England will be little moved by today’s data. While the momentum behind wage growth may build support for interest rate hikes, Brexit remains the spanner in the works for the MPC.”