The employment rate is at a new record high of 75.7%

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"But the fuel on which the labour market runs - people wanting to get into work - is getting scarcer".

United Kingdom employment rose to a record high in the three months to end-May after the economy created jobs at a stronger than expected pace.

"While self-employment was 8,000 (-0.2%) lower year-on-year, this was a period during which public authorities were legislated to re-evaluate the legitimacy of engaging any worker under this status".

But he added: "It is important to remember that unemployment remains, by historical standards, at a low rate".

Matt Hughes, senior ONS statistician, said: "We've had yet another record employment rate, while the number of job vacancies is also a new record".

There was also a decrease in the number of people aged 16 to 64 who were economically inactive, with the inactivity rate standing at a record 21.0%, down from 21.5% for a year earlier.

As employment rose, unemployment fell, with 12,000 fewer people out of work than in the previous period, the ONS said.

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Job vacancies increased by 7,000 to 824,000 - the most since records began in 2001.

Despite the positive topline numbers, there was an unexpected rise in the number of people in the United Kingdom claiming benefits.

Wage growth also moderated slightly, with the average United Kingdom earnings increasing by 2.7%, compared to 2.8% at the last data release in June.

"Looking in more detail, the data suggest that there has been something of a shift away from self-employment over the past year, with all the employment growth coming from people working as employees".

While this kept pay above inflation, this was the slowest rate of wage growth so far in 2018 and is likely to have slightly dampened hopes of a rate hikes from the Bank of England (BoE) in August.

"From this it's clear that the labour market is still growing strongly. meanwhile, real earnings remain modestly up on the year, both including and exclusing bonuses".

At the same time the U.S. dollar has fallen back against the pound and the majority of its other peers this morning as markets await Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's first congressional testimony later this afternoon. "As such, we continue to expect the MPC to vote to raise interest rates next month", he said.

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