ONS Labour Market November 2019
The latest labour market data from the ONS continues to show a robust market, but there are some early signs of cooling compared to the previous reported period. Although the unemployment rate declined, vacancies also fell which put less pressure on wages.
The unemployment rate declined to 3.8% in the quarter to September, down from 4.0% a year earlier and the 3.9% reported last month. The unemployment rate for women declined 0.4% points on last year to 3.6% – a joint record low – while the rate for men dipped 0.1% points to 4.1%.
However, the number of people in work continued to dip slightly in the three months to September, with the employment rate down 0.1% points to 76.0% compared to the previous quarter, but edged up 0.5% points compared to last year.
The number of people aged from 16 to 64 years old that are economically inactive (not working and not seeking nor available to work) rose 0.1% points to 20.8% compared to the last quarter, but was down 0.3% points compared to last year.
In the three months to September, the number of people in employment came in at 32.75 million – up 323,000 on the previous year, but down 58,000 on the previous quarter.
Job vacancies continued to fall in the UK with an estimated 800,000 vacancies between August and October – down 14,000 on the previous period and 53,000 fewer compared to the previous year. The retail sector accounted for around 10.5% of all vacancies in the UK in the three months to October.
Number of vacancies in the UK, seasonally adjusted, August to October 2001 to August to October 2019
Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain was 3.6% for both total (including bonuses) and regular pay. This suggests that real earnings are currently growing at around 1.9% when adjusted for CPI inflation.
Great Britain average weekly earnings annual growth rates, seasonally adjusted, July to September 2001 to July to September 2019
For September 2019 in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation):
- average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £508 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £491 per week for a year earlier
- average total pay (including bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £542 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £523 per week for a year earlier
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