ONS Labour Market September 2019

The latest labour market data from the ONS shows the number of people in work continued to increase in the three months to July, while the number of people aged from 16 to 64 years old that are either unemployed or economically inactive (not working and not seeking nor available to work) fell compared to the previous year.

The unemployment rate came in at 3.8% in the quarter to July, down from 4.0% a year earlier and the 3.9% reported last month. The unemployment rate for women remained at 3.6% – the joint-lowest on record – while the rate for men remained flat compared to the previous year at 4.0%.

In the three months to July, the number of people in employment came in at 32.8 million, up by 31,000 on the previous period and up 369,000 on the previous year.

Job vacancies have been falling in the UK since early 2019. There were an estimated 812,000 vacancies between June and August – down 23,000 on the previous period and 33,000 fewer compared to the previous year. The retail sector accounted for around 10.3% of all vacancies in the UK in the three months to August.

Number of vacancies in the UK, seasonally adjusted, June to August 2001 to June to August 2019

Source: ONS

The employment rate for people aged 16 to 64 years came in at 76.1% in the three months to July. This remains the joint-highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain are rising at the fastest rate in 11 years on a total pay basis (including bonuses) at 4.0%, while regular pay (excluding bonuses) dipped slightly to 3.8%. This suggests that real earnings are currently growing at around 1.7%.

Great Britain average weekly earnings annual growth rates, seasonally adjusted, January to March 2001 to May to July 2019

Source: ONS

For July 2019 in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation):

  • average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £507 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £489 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 £520 per week for a year earlier

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