The FSB has heralded the work of SMEs in creating jobs. The latest labour statistics, released today, reveal that employment is up by 174,000 jobs and unemployment has fallen to 1.63 million, down by 39,000 from the previous period.
The FSB says that the figures show that, despite the challenge of meeting the demands of the National Living Wage, small businesses are continuing to create employment.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: “Small employers have stretched to meet the challenge set by the National Living Wage, with many paying their staff more by reducing operating margins. This will get harder for many firms in later years, with the targets set in a ‘pre-Brexit-decision’ economy.
“Negotiating a Brexit which works for smaller businesses is critical, but we must not forget the many ongoing domestic economic issues which must be tackled by the new Government. The upcoming Autumn Statement will be an important moment if we are to boost economic growth and sustain a robust jobs market.”
‘Maintaining flexibility important’
Meanwhile Neil Carberry, CBI Director of People and Skills, welcomed the figures but warned more work was needed. “With much of the data still pre-Referendum, it’s too early to make any assumptions about the effect of June’s vote to leave the European Union on the UK’s labour market.
“But the strength of employment growth in the first half of this year is encouraging, and highlights the resilience of the UK’s flexible labour market. Maintaining this flexibility as we navigate the challenges and opportunities the country faces following the EU Referendum will be vital for our future prosperity, pay and job creation.”