Barack Obama: One election won’t stop US ‘truth decay’

first_imgAmerica faces a huge task in reversing a divisive conspiracy culture, Barack Obama tells the BBC.- Advertisement –last_img

10 Missing after Cargo Ship Sinks off Shanghai

first_imgTen mariners are reported missing following a collision between a tanker identified as Yong An and general cargo ship Shun Qiang 2, which sank taking down 13 members of its crew with it.The collision occurred on July 15, near Shanghai.Three people have been rescued, Xinhua reported citing information from the Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Center.A search and rescue operation for the missing seafarers is said to be underway.The Chinese-flagged Shun Qiang 2 was reportedly loaded with 3,000 tons of rolled steel when the incident occurred.The cause of the collision is yet to be determined.World Maritime News Stafflast_img

IOG farms out North Sea assets

first_imgIndependent Oil and Gas (IOG) has entered into binding agreements to farm out 50 per cent of its Southern North Sea (SNS) assets, excluding Harvey, to CalEnergy Resources Limited (CER).Map of IOG’s assets. Source: IOGIOG said on Friday it will be paid initial cash consideration of £40 million ($49.7M) on completion of the farm-out. CER will also pay for up to £125 million ($155.4M) of IOG’s development costs, representing 80 per cent of IOG’s 50 per cent share of Core Project costs, up to caps of £60 million for Phase 1 and £65 million for Phase 2 respectively.The Core Project comprises 410 BCF of 2P+2C reserves and resources across six discovered Southern North Sea (SNS) gas fields. IOG will pay CER a royalty of 20.2% of its net revenues from the Phase 1 fields only (i.e. 10.1 per cent of gross Phase 1 revenues, net of National Transmission System entry charges and applicable marketing fees), up to a cap of £91 million over field life.In addition, IOG will receive an effective royalty interest equating to £0.50/MCF on CER’s 50 per cent share of production from certain sections of the Goddard Field after 70 BCF gross has been produced from the field up to a maximum royalty of £9.75 million.IOG will retain operatorship of the Core Project.Completion of the farm-out is conditional on certain conditions being satisfied, including the receipt of OGA approval, the receipt of binding commitments from investors in respect of the Bond and various conditions relating to real estate leases at the Bacton terminal.Upon completion of the farm-out of the SNS Assets (excluding Harvey) and the Bond, IOG and CER intend to proceed to immediate approval of Phase 1 FID. Repayment & restructuring of LOG debt facilities IOG stated it is planning to raise approximately £70 million through the issue of a Euro-denominated senior secured bond to institutional investors based on standard Nordic documentation.The proceeds from the bond issue will provide for the full balance of IOG’s Phase 1 funding requirements, with an excess capital buffer. The company has mandated the Nordic investment bank ABG Sundal Collier as bookrunner and advisor in relation to this transaction and a detailed term sheet has been agreed in principle setting out the terms of the Bond issue. It is anticipated that the Bonds will be listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.The planned Bond is anticipated to have a 5-year tenor, be redeemable after 2.5 years (with a market standard call premium) and have a bullet repayment structure, which will allow for Phase 2 capex with a strong cash buffer at maturity. The Bond will be secured against IOG’s post-farm-out asset portfolio. Final terms will be known following completion of marketing and book-building.IOG and CER have agreed that completion of the farm-out and Bond will trigger Phase 1 FID and submission of confirmation of full funding to the OGA. Following FID the award of key contracts will start. Phase 1 Field Development Plan (FDP) approval by the OGA is anticipated within weeks of FID. As part of the farm-out, CER has also been granted an option to acquire 50 per cent of the Harvey licenses within three months of completion of the Harvey appraisal well. IOG said earlier this week that the Maersk Resilient jack-up rig was due to finish its prior operations over the coming week and start re-locating to Harvey well location. The Harvey well is expected to spud around August 3.According to IOG, exercise of this option would maintain full alignment between IOG and CER across IOG’s entire SNS Assets in the event of a successful Harvey appraisal. On completion of the farm-in to Harvey CER will pay a further £20 million cash payment to IOG and a £0.95/MCF royalty on all of CER’s life-of-field net gas production from Harvey (equivalent to £61.3 million if Harvey produces IOG’s 129 BCF Best Estimate Prospective Resources). IOG’s pre-well estimates of the gross Prospective Resources at Harvey are low/mid/high 85/129/199 BCF.In addition to the farm-out, IOG and CER have signed an area of mutual interest agreement to allow for future co-operation in further SNS business development activities on a 50:50 basis.The specific focus is a defined area of the UK SNS which contains the wider tie-back radius of the Thames Pipeline. IOG has already identified and is working up several opportunities in this region for potentially value accretive incremental licensing applications and asset acquisitions, with a view to leveraging the competitive advantage provided by the Core Project’s infrastructure. With the Farm-out and AMI in place, the two partners are well placed to develop future projects.IOG said it believes that CER is a very strong and naturally well-aligned partner for IOG both in co-developing the SNS assets and in jointly acquiring and developing further upside opportunities in the Thames Pipeline Catchment Area.Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company owns CER through its UK subsidiary Northern Powergrid Holdings Company whose primary business are its electricity distribution companies in the NorthEast of England. Harvey option Core Project capital expenditure Path to FID Following extensive due diligence discussions with CER, a detailed third-party cost contingency review and the initial results of re-tendering certain Phase 1 contracts, IOG has further refined its Core Project cost estimates.Total Phase 1 gross capex is estimated at £293 million, plus £24 million of contingency and, subsequent to First Gas, a further £65 million investment in onshore compression. IOG’s net Phase 1 funding requirements further to the Farm-out will be fully covered by the proceeds of the proposed Bond.Phase 2 gross capex, encompassing three platforms and eight wells, is currently estimated at £367 million plus £41 million of contingency. IOG’s net portion is projected to be fully funded from Phase 1 cashflows plus the £65 million development carry. Based on the current UK NBP gas forward curve, IOG’s Project IRR on the Core Project before any carry or financing benefits is 30%. IOG has also entered definitive documentation with LOG which supersedes the debt restructuring agreed in April 2019. As a result, on completion of the farm-out, IOG will repay in full LOG’s non-convertible debt, currently £16.6 million including accrued interest.In addition, LOG’s convertible loans, currently £22 million including accrued interest, will, at LOG’s election to be made by Friday, August 9, 2019, be either repaid, converted into IOG Ordinary Shares at the relevant exercise prices, up to a maximum holding of 29.9% of IOG’s issued share capital, or exchanged for long-term unsecured debt convertible at the equivalent price.Consequently, the company’s post-farm-out assets will be left unencumbered to be pledged as security for the Bond. The Substantial Shareholder Relationship Agreement with LOG remains in place and will expire upon completion of the farm-out, at which time sales of shares held by LOG following farm-out completion will be subject to orderly market restrictions for a period of 12 months. LOG’s warrants will remain in place.Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG commented: “The successful farm-out to a partner of the stature of CalEnergy Resources, part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, is a landmark transaction for IOG which should deliver very significant value for our shareholders both now and in the future.“This transaction with CER is a strong validation of our exciting portfolio of upstream and infrastructure assets, as well as our focused Southern North Sea gas strategy which can generate exceptional shareholder returns. Importantly, with the balance of funding to come from the bond market, we expect to deliver FID without equity issuance. These transactions will provide the funding to develop our portfolio to cash flow and therefore a clear path to delivering material shareholder value.“It is a testament to my team’s expertise, resourcefulness and tenacity to have reached this milestone after navigating some considerable challenges over recent years. We now look forward with real optimism to realizing the significant value in our portfolio and embracing opportunities to generate further upside through our partnership with CER.“Additionally, we are pleased to continue as Operator, which reflects the quality of the operational team we have assembled under our COO Mark Hughes, who has extensive experience of successful project execution in the Southern North Sea.”Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Trishton Jackson, special teams up in season-ending stock watch

first_imgSyracuse’s (5-7, 2-6 Atlantic Coast) season ended positively on Saturday, as the Orange took down Wake Forest, 39-30, in overtime on a Trill Williams walk-off fumble return for a touchdown.As a whole, however, SU’s season was largely a disappointment in terms of its expectations heading into the year. The Orange won 10 games last season en route to finishing second in the ACC and winning the Camping World Bowl, leading many to believe the 2019 season could potentially be even better. Instead, Syracuse won half as many games and failed to defeat a Power 5 opponent until its 10th game of the season.Here’s whose stock is up or down, looking back at the Orange’s 2019 campaign.STOCK UPAdvertisementThis is placeholder textJackson gave Syracuse fans a glimpse of what he could do in the Camping World Bowl last year, making his SU debut with three catches, 27 yards and a touchdown. He built on that performance this season, quickly establishing himself as the No. 1 receiver in the Orange offense. His breakout performance came in Syracuse’s week two loss to Maryland, in which Jackson totaled seven catches for 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’d go on to have four more 100-plus yard games and finished top-5 in the ACC in receptions, yards and touchdowns.Despite some early-season criticism, DeVito passed the test as Syracuse’s starting quarterback this year, throwing for 19 touchdowns and 2,360 yards, both top-10 single-season marks in SU history. The redshirt sophomore had five games with 250 yards or more and four games with three touchdown passes or more, including back-to-back contests against Western Michigan and Holy Cross in which he threw four touchdowns in each. Despite being sacked nearly 50 times, one of the worst marks in the country, DeVito fought through injuries and growing pains to carve out one of the best Syracuse passing seasons ever.As expected, SU’s special teams unit was again one of the best in the country. After kicker Andre Szmyt won the Lou Groza award for the best kicker in the nation last season and punter Sterling Hofrichter joined him on the All-ACC first team, Hofrichter is now up for the punter’s equivalent of the award, the Ray Guy award. Hofrichter led the ACC in punts inside the 20-yard line and fair catches, also ranking second in total punt yardage. Szmyt, meanwhile, earned third-team All-ACC honors this season after connecting on 17-of-20 field goals and 39-of-40 extra points.STOCK DOWNThe negatives of the Orange have to start with their offensive line, which struggled to find any consistency all year after starting center Sam Heckel was injured in the season-opener. Issues in pass protection led to 50 total sacks on the season, the third-most out of 130 FBS teams. DeVito and backup quarterback Clayton Welch were often given little-to-no time to make a play and both battled injuries throughout the year. The line’s run blocking was poor too, as Syracuse ball-carriers were tackled for a loss 98 times, seventh-worst in the nation. But the problems didn’t stop at the offensive line’s production. Ryan Alexander, who started six games at right tackle, left the program in late October, forcing true freshman Matthew Bergeron into service to finish the season.Syracuse had some standouts defensively this year, namely All-ACC honorees Cisco and Lakiem Williams, but struggled as a unit. The Orange allowed 5,569 total yards to opposing offenses, second-worst in the ACC, as well as 30.7 points per game, also near the bottom of the conference. After a 2018 season in which SU improved defensively, forcing a turnover in every game, Syracuse struggled and defensive coordinator Brian Ward was fired late in the year. Now, the Orange head into the offseason with a question mark at the coaching position as well as the graduation of more than half of its defensive starters.Syracuse stumbled in one of the most controllable areas of the game, penalties. The Orange were the fourth-most penalized team in the nation, averaging just under nine per game, their highest in over 10 years. The flags came down on both sides of the ball, ranging from offensive line penalties to mental mistakes after plays. SU was even called for a pair of targeting penalties in the same game against Holy Cross, its only such penalties this season. In an underwhelming year, staying disciplined and limiting penalties was one way the Orange could’ve increased their margin for error. They didn’t. Comments Published on December 4, 2019 at 1:12 am Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Falwell’s folly

first_imgJerry Falwell was a man who wrapped himself in the cloak of right- eousness, but was full of judgmental prejudice, arrogance and hypocrisy. Rather than preaching the gospel of love and salvation, he used his pulpit to preach the politics of self-righteousness. Rather than condemning the evils by politicians he turned a blind eye on the sins committed by the far right and saw only the sins of the left. Rather than being one of the peacemakers Jesus spoke of, he was a divider among God’s people. Rather than being meek as Jesus said we should be, he was arrogant, self-aggrandizing and prideful in his own righteousness, and there was no mercy anywhere in him. May God have mercy on him. – Gary Helm Lancaster Not about hate Re “Falwell’s death” (Your opinions, May 17): I was never a great fan of Jerry Falwell, but I found Marie Robert’s letter accusing him of hatred and ignorance to be quite offensive. His belief that abortion and homosexuality are sins may not have been politically correct, but they do not constitute hatred or ignorance. Why do those on the left insist on labeling anyone who disagrees with them as hateful idiots? – Sharon Hess Sherman Oaks Just not funny Re “Left relies on anger, not logic” (Their opinions, May 17): I have been consistently amused by the comedy stylings of right-wing water-carrier Thomas Sowell, but his latest screed just wasn’t funny. Does he not remember that the civil-rights movement was born of courageous people, emboldened with righteous indignation? Today the American people are faced with an administration so rich in contempt for the rule of law, so incompetent and unethical that members of the administration provoke justifiable outrage on nearly a daily basis. The time is now for a reckoning, and again it will be led by the courageous. The sad reality for Mr. Sowell is that, no matter how much he parrots the neocons’ talking points, he will never be welcomed in their exclusive pantheon. That fact should make him angry. – Theodore Kerhulas Sherman Oaks Mad about Sowell Re “Left relies on anger, not logic” (Their opinions, May 17): Every time taxes have been lowered, government revenues have increased by a significant amount. Government income increased as a result of tax cuts under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and George W. Bush. Please look it up. – Gregg Frazer Castaic It’s nasty Re “Immigration deal struck” (May 18): The immigration bill as it now is written should be spelled “am nasty.” Any senators or representatives who support this bill should worry about the next time they are up for re-election. They may think that voters forget, but they are dead wrong. – Gene Goodwein Van Nuys Leadership void It seems there are a lot of people angry at Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton for their lack of leadership. Both Bratton and the mayor immediately condemned the Los Angeles Police Department officers in the May 1 rally, and they both have embraced the same illegal aliens who are tearing this city apart. I knew that Villaraigosa’s leftist views and liberal ideas would take over. As for Bratton, he has just become another puppet for the mayor and L.A. City Council, and he needs to move on. His first job is to stand up for his men and women under his command and to make sure they all receive due process. He has failed miserably. – Joseph Dillon Chatsworth So much sense! Re “House homeless, not the elephants” (Their opinions, May 18): Thank you for the article from Daniel Guss. He makes so much sense. He, rather than the dum-dums currently in office, should be running this city. My prayer is that some of those officials will see the light, cancel the zoo elephant exhibit and use that money to build affordable housing for people. – Sandra Malone Los Angeles 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Featured Program: Building Healthy Military Communities, Oklahoma

first_img3. Who has the most to gain from the BHMC program in your state?Service members and families have the most to gain from the BHMC program. The goal of our program is to improve readiness of our service members to complete the mission; they are the focus of our efforts. However, as we all know, military families also impact readiness. It’s difficult for service members to concentrate on the mission if they are worried about family members back home. Families are also critical to the BHMC mission. The BHMC target area of improvement is service members and their families. 1. Can you briefly talk about what Building Healthy Military Communities program is working on in Oklahoma? What can we expect to see in the next year?The Building Healthy Military Communities (BHMC) a multi-year pilot that aims to better understand unique challenges faced by geographically dispersed Service members and their families that may impact their readiness, resiliency, and well-being. BHMC hopes to better understand resource challenges and develop a comprehensive strategy to support the Chairman’s objective of Total Force Fitness (TFF), which is DoD’s framework for improving health, readiness, and resiliency of its population through eight domains of fitness (physical, environmental, medical/dental, nutritional, spiritual, psychological, behavioral, and social). The program kicked off at the end of 2016 and has been working hard to positively impact Service members and families lives.Oklahoma’s BHMC program has gotten off to a good start over the past year. Since initiation, the Oklahoma State Coordinator has attended and led 77 meetings with local community service organizations and military leaders, building relationships and partnerships. BHMC has also partnered with the Tulsa Mayors Veterans Advisory Council, Warrior Partnerships of Eastern Oklahoma, Oklahoma Veterans Connections, and the Oklahoma Veterans Family Wellness Alliance to bolster outreach efforts. In partnership with these organizations, the Oklahoma BHMC State Coordinator has attended speed sharing events across Oklahoma, publicizing the BHMC program and making connections with service providers and identifying resources for Service members and families.Utilizing the connections and partnerships made across Oklahoma, BHMC has built a robust database of Service Providers who can meet the needs of Service members and families. These resources were vetted and posted on the Joint Service Support website via the Service Provider Network. The Service Provider Network is a database of resources that Service members and families can search based on location anytime, with any device that has Internet connectivity.  Oklahoma’s Service Provider Network provides links and contact information for over 400 organizations who provide services for Service members and families in need. Oklahoma is proud of the efforts of many organizations that have helped build this network from the ground up during the past few months.During the next year, Oklahoma BHMC aims to work with organizations across the state to educate Service members and families on available resources utilizing a strategic communication plan to collaborate with the many different offices who provide support for our Service Members. Our goal is to work in concert with the many family service resources that already exist in Oklahoma to help build readiness and resilience resources for our Service members and families. Oklahoma’s Community Capacity Inventory identified that service members and families lacked awareness of community resources and family services. Working with military leaders and family service agencies, BHMC aims to better educate Service members and families on available resources in Oklahoma for service members.Later this year, the BHMC pilot will also conduct a  a Rapid Needs Assessment in Oklahoma, where a team, composed of representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Guard Bureau, the Uniformed Services  University of the Health Sciences, and the Reserve Component Services, will evaluate programs that impact Service members and families across the state, while identifying any gaps that exist.  The team is currently waiting for approvals from the Office of Information Management to conduct these assessments. Today we had the opportunity to talk to Lonnie Bacon, Oklahoma State Coordinator for Building Healthy Military Communities. We asked Lonnie some questions about the success and challenges of the pilot program to date.Lonnie Bacon served on active duty in the United States Air Force for 27 years in the Civil Engineer functional area culminating in the promotion to the highest Air Force enlisted rank, Chief Master Sergeant. He is highly decorated for his service to his country during multiple combat campaigns. He deployed 10 times supporting operations Southern Watch, Inherent Resolve, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. While serving his country, Lonnie also obtained a MBA in Human Resource Management from Columbia Southern University. After leaving the Air Force, Lonnie continues to support military personnel by serving as the Oklahoma BHMC Coordinator. 4. What type of collaboration is taking place between the Cooperative Extension System and Building Healthy Military Communities in Oklahoma? How do you see this partnership developing in the future?Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service has child and youth, financial and nutritional resources. Since Oklahoma identified “fitness” and “financial” as areas of concern in the initial draft of the Oklahoma BHMC state action plan, Cooperative Extension can be an excellent resource for SMs in Oklahoma. Cooperative Extension works well with BHMC’s motivation to reach geographically dispersed service members. The service has offices located in each of the 77 Oklahoma counties that provide financial counseling, financial referrals, and nutritional counseling. Oklahoma BHMC has partnered with OSU extension service and has all of their offices listed as a resource on the Service Provider Network. In the future, Oklahoma can increase awareness of extension services during its strategic communications and outreach to Service members and families. 5. How can military family service professionals, non-profits, or other local organizations get involved with BHMC?There are numerous ways for family service professionals, non-profits, or other local organizations to get involved with BHMC. BHMC is a conduit of information on resources for SMVFs in Oklahoma. The first step for an organization to get involved is contacting your State Coordinator and becoming a resource on the Service Provider Network. The network is excellent website that can give organizations access to service members with particular needs. The Service Provider Network is also a resource used by military family service professionals to provide service members and families with referrals to non-profits, or other local organizations that can provide helpful resources. 2. Can you talk about some of the challenges facing BHMC in Oklahoma?Oklahoma has some challenges based on the resources available in many of the areas where service members live. 68 of the 77 counties in Oklahoma are considered rural counties. In Oklahoma, in the active component, 10% of Service members live in counties not supported by installations and in the reserve component, 56% of Service members live in counties not supported by installations. Oklahoma BHMC aims to identify resources available in these local communities and connect them with geographically dispersed SMVFs in order to improve readiness and resilience across the community. Rural areas away from installations can be a challenge due to limited resources and more difficult outreach efforts. 6. Is there anything else you’d like our audience to know?Service members and their families need your support. Sometimes we might think that all of the Service member’s needs are taken care of by the government or military installations. However, this is not always the case. Not all service members are covered by Tricare, not all service members are meeting their financial responsibilities due to problems with member or spouse employment, and the list can go on and on. We need community resources to help our service members and families reach optimal readiness and resilience. Partnering with BHMC can help our military improve overall total force fitness and the readiness and resilience of our forces.last_img read more

Wärtsilä ReLiquefaction Plants Ordered for New LNG Carriers

first_imgzoom Finnish engineering company Wärtsilä has won a deal to supply its re-liquefaction plants to three liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, currently under construction.One of the vessels in question is being built at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) yard for the international owner and operator Gaslog. The other two are for Norway-based Knutsen and are being built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) yard. The ships were ordered in April, May and June 2017, respectively.The re-liquefaction plant ordered for these vessels features Wärtsilä’s latest mixed refrigerant (MR) technology, an energy efficient solution for smaller liquefaction applications. The new installation will have a capacity of 1.5 – 2.5 tons/hour (t/h). The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery commencing February 2018.“We are proud of the success of Wärtsilä’s advanced re-liquefaction plants based on MR technology, and this success is reflected in these latest orders,” Timo Koponen, Vice President, Flow & Gas Solutions at Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, said.last_img read more

VIDEO Learn About The Wilmington Educational Foundation In Latest Episode Of Wheres Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — In the latest episode of WCTV’s “Where’s Wilmington,” host Lisa Kapala interviews Wilmington Educational Foundation President Leslee Quick and Vice President Jen Mason. Learn more about this generous organization, including its upcoming Joanne Benton WEF Walk and its ongoing Baystate Textile fundraiser with drop-off bins located in each school’s parking lot.Watch the 15-minute interview below, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television:—Video Playerhttps://objects-us-east-1.dream.io/wilmington/0/6/c/c/6/f/06cc6fbb-f5ee-4986-89ff-2015e8b00ca31539103152.407%2B43885851.451%40castus4-wilmington%2B15391047681539104256532580.vod.720p.181009_Wheres_Wilmington_WEF.mp41.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://objects-us-east-1.dream.io/wilmington/0/6/c/c/6/f/06cc6fbb-f5ee-4986-89ff-2015e8b00ca31539103152.407%2B43885851.451%40castus4-wilmington%2B15391047681539104256532580.vod.720p.181009_Wheres_Wilmington_WEF.mp41.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Learn About The New Wilmington Police Explorers ProgramIn “Videos”VIDEO: Meet Wilmington Recreation’s New Program Coordinator Bret SawinIn “Videos”VIDEO: Learn About The Mill City Eagles, A Local Semi-Pro Football Team, & Meet GM Zachary Swale, Of WilmingtonIn “Videos”last_img read more

UK unemployment rate hits 45year low

first_imgUnited KingdomBritish unemployment has fallen to a 45-year low, official data showed Tuesday, with the economy holding up despite prolonged Brexit uncertainty.The unemployment rate eased to 3.8 per cent in the three months to March — the lowest level since the final quarter of 1974, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.That compared with a 44-year low of 3.9 per cent in the quarter to February.”The UK labour market has been remarkably resilient in the face of Brexit-related uncertainty,” Hargreaves Lansdown senior economist Ben Brettell said in reaction to the latest data.”These are really strong numbers given the headwinds the economy is currently facing.”The ONS added that the UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1 per cent, which was the joint-highest figure on record.However the strong jobs figures were not necessarily translating into higher productivity, analysts noted.”There are valid concerns that UK firms are hoarding labour instead of much-needed capital expenditure,” said Brettell.”Why would you invest large sums in new plant or machinery in such uncertain times, when you could hire an extra worker and get broadly the same result?”The ONS added that growth in average weekly earnings, including bonuses, slowed to 3.2 per cent in the three months to March.And they increased by only 1.3 per cent when adjusted for inflation, down from 1.6 per cent in the three months to February.”This is unwelcome news for hopes that the consumer can keep spending at a robust rate over the summer and help the economy weather prolonged Brexit uncertainties and a challenging global economic environment,” said EY ITEM Club economist Howard Archer.The unemployment data coincided with the release of a major study by a think tank showing that income inequality in the UK is higher than in every other major economy, except the United States.The Institute for Fiscal Studies noted that the UK has experienced “a decade of stagnant wages and there is recent evidence that ‘deaths of despair’ — deaths from suicide and drug and alcohol abuse — are now rising among middle-aged Britons”.The IFS stated that “great inequalities… risk disrupting both our democracy and our prosperity”.last_img read more