So much for Brexit slump: jobless total down to eight-year low

A bonfire pyre with the words 'BREXIT IRA SCUM' is seen in Tiger's Bay ahead of the Twelfth of July celebrations held by members of the Orange Order in Belfast, Northern Ireland, July 11, 2016. /REUTERS
A bonfire pyre with the words 'BREXIT IRA SCUM' is seen in Tiger's Bay ahead of the Twelfth of July celebrations held by members of the Orange Order in Belfast, Northern Ireland, July 11, 2016. /REUTERS

Unemployment

fell by more than 8,000 in July, defying the doommongers who claimed that Brexit would put a "bomb under the British economy".

The Office for National Statistics released a slew of positive data yesterday, including the news that employment in Britain has reached a record high.

Crucially, jobs figures were headed in the right direction both before and after the historic vote for Britain to leave the EU on June 23.

The UK’s jobless total fell by 52,000 to 1.64million, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 per cent, between April and June.

This confounded claims that uncertainty over the referendum result had stopped firms hiring and was already hurting the economy.

The jobless total is now at its lowest for eight years, while the unemployment rate is at its lowest since the summer of 2005.

Even more significantly the number of people claiming unemployment benefit was only 763,600 in July, down 8,600 from June.

The employment rate reached a record high of 74.5 per cent, with 31.8 million people in work in the three months to June – 172,000 more than the previous quarter.

Tory MPs said the figures proved the UK has nothing to fear from leaving the Brussels club. Ex-minister Dominic Raab, a leader of the Brexit campaign, said: ‘Britain is going from strength to strength.’

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: "If the Brexit vote has put a bomb under the economy as David Cameron suggested it might before the June vote, it must have a very long fuse."