In the three months leading up to March unemployment has fallen by as much as 35,000 compared to the same period last year, it has been reported.
“The ongoing fall in unemployment remains an encouraging sign for the UK’s improving economic health. With our labour markets generally performing well, attention now needs to turn to boosting productivity which will require a policy environment that fosters enterprise, investment and business growth,” said John Allan, FSB national chairman.
Recent FSB research has found that a net balance of 4.2 per cent of small firms have recruited new staff in the first quarter of 2015. This marks an increase from the net balance of 2.1 per cent during the same period last year.
The FSB research confirms SMEs’ optimism for the future: they expect to pay increased wages in the year ahead. A 1.8 per cent increase is expected, which is up from the 1.5 per cent increase over last year.
“Today’s figures on private sector pay provide cause for optimism. We expect the growth in employment and further tightening of the labour market to create upward pressure on wages. This is borne out by research with our members who expect to increase staff wages at a faster rate in 2015,” Allan continued.