Brexit vote knocks employment confidence despite unemployment fall

Consumers are feeling less confident about their jobs in the wake of Britain's vote to ditch the European Union, a report has found.

The Deloitte Consumer Tracker said uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote took its toll on employment confidence, which fell three points following the referendum result and six points compared to last year. 

It said the overall headline measure for consumer confidence stayed at minus 8 for the second quarter of 2016 - its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2014. 

The mounting concerns over the employment outlook come despite another fall in unemployment this month and a record number of people in work.

The employment rate reached a record high of 74.4%, with 31.7 million people in work in the three months to May - 176,000 more than the previous quarter.

Ben Perkins, Deloitte's head of research for consumer and industrial products, said: "Sentiment about jobs among young consumers is more negative than for older consumers. 

"While overall confidence is flat quarter-on-quarter for 18- to 34-year-olds due to an 18-point rise in health and wellbeing, their confidence about job security falls by seven points, and confidence in their career progression by nine points."

He added: "Consumer spending remains largely stable. Expenditure continues to shift from essentials to discretionary categories.

"Net spending on essentials was flat quarter-on-quarter, while net spending on discretionary categories rose by three points, suggesting more consumers are spending more in non-essential areas."

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