The number of people out of work fell 6,175 or 4.4 percent to 133,603 in June. The decline was steep enough to reduce the unemployment rate from 3.2 percent in May to 3.0 percent, in line with market expectations. More usefully, the seasonally adjusted data also showed a drop of 1,010, although this was too small move the adjusted rate from its 3.2 percent mid-quarter post.
However, vacancies disappointed and the adjusted total was down a further 68 or 0.6 percent on the month after a 1.0 percent decline in May. Unadjusted annual growth was 10.2 percent.
The June labour market data are mixed. The decrease in unemployment is consistent with a better month for economic growth but back-to-back declines in vacancies could mean that companies have become rather more cautious about the outlook.