The number of households with no member in work fell by nearly 100,000 over the past year, indicating the UK’s jobs boom is reaching households who might normally struggle to find jobs. Overall, nearly 60% of households had all members aged over 16 in employment, a rise of 315,000 compared to 2017. Economists welcomed the news, but warned that there may not be much room for further improvement on the figures. A separate survey by GfK has found that despite unemployment being at a record low, consumers remain gloomy about the wider economy. The GFK barometer measured consumer confidence at -7 for in May, up from -9 in April but still in the zero or negative territory it has been mired in since February 2016.
The Daily Telegraph’s latest Business Tracker has revealed that an abundance of advice about GDPR and confidence about exporting were cause for positivity among SMEs over the last month. The tracker analysed 36,000 tweets sent over the period, from 25,000 UK companies, and found that 19% contained optimistic or cheery sentiment, while 9% were negative. Some 72% were neutral (those without any opinion attached, such as sales promotions).