UK inflation rate fell in the year to July, whilst unemployment levels fell in June.

The UK inflation rate fell to 2% in the year to July as the economy continued to reopen, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed.

Inflation dipped from 2.5% in the year to June, the highest level for nearly three years. The dip was driven by price falls in clothing and footwear, although those decreases were "largely offset" by price rises in transport.

Average petrol prices stood at 132.6p per litre in July 2021, compared with 111.4p per litre a year earlier, the highest price recorded since September 2013.

Job vacancies pass 1m for the first time

ONS’s most recent data show the labour market continued to recover as unemployment rate dropped to 4.7% in the three months to June. The number of payroll employees showed another monthly increase, up 182,000 to 28.9 million in July 2021. However, it remains 201,000 below pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels.

Following a period of employment growth and low unemployment, since the start of the pandemic, the employment rate has generally decreased, and the unemployment rate increased. However, since the end of 2020, both have shown signs of recovery. In the latest period (April to June 2021), there was a quarterly increase in the employment rate of 0.3 percentage points, to 75.1%, and a decrease in the unemployment rate of 0.2 percentage points, to 4.7%. The economic inactivity rate is down 0.2 percentage points on the previous quarter, to 21.1%.

There were an estimated 953,000 job vacancies in May to July 2021, a record high, having grown by 290,000 compared with the previous quarter and 168,000 more than its pre-pandemic level (January to March 2020). Wages grew 8.8% (including bonuses) and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was up 7.4% in April to June 2021.

The figures beat the forecasts of City analysts, who expected the labour market to recover more slowly as lockdown restrictions eased, The Guardian reported.