The labour market has seen little to no growth in the last quarter due to months of uncertainty, a major new report has revealed.

The finding forms part of the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) new analysis of the UK economy.

The report reveals that in the third quarter of 2019, the state of productivity in the UK showed zero growth compared to the same period a year previously.

Likewise, the output per worker also showed no growth in the three months to September 2019, compared with the same quarter last year.

The figures, published this month, also reveal that UK wage growth slowed down in the same three month period, but unemployment dropped by 23,000 to 1.31 million – indicating a rise of low paid work.

Commenting on the figures, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said the figures “highlight the scale of the problem” that the nation has when it comes to productivity.

“Months of uncertainty have done nothing to help small businesses which have been struggling under the weight of rising costs, soaring business rates and continued difficulties in the economy,” he said.

“It’s critical that the next Government gives the economy a much needed shot in the arm by investing in new infrastructure such as broadband and 5G networks, giving small firms the best tools available to flourish.”

Mr Cherry added: “In order to increase productivity, it’s vital that we encourage new innovations through R&D. This can be done through making the tax credit system as well as the Patent Box tax relief, more accessible to small firms who innovate which would be a big step forwards as small businesses, are likely to lack dedicated R&D and accounting departments.”

The report comes after the Government relaunched the £2 million Business Basics Programme (BBP) to help boost productivity. The grant scheme encourages small organisations to adopt existing technologies and management practices, such as cloud accounting and invoicing software, to speed up their operations.

For help and advice improving productivity at your business, please get in touch with our expert team.

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