Retail Economics response: UK Labour Market September 2018 (ONS)

The latest labour market data from the ONS showed that the number of people in work was little changed, the number of unemployed people decreased but the number of people aged from 16 to 64 years not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) increased.

The unemployment rate stood to 4.0%, down from 4.3% a year earlier, the lowest since 1975.

In the three months to August, the number of people in employment was little changed compared with the previous period —but rose 289,000 on a year earlier.

Figure 1 – UK employment rate (people aged 16-64, seasonally adjusted) June - August 2013-2018

Source: ONS

For the three months to August, 75.5% of people aged from 16 to 64 were in work, slightly lower than the previous period but up from 75.1% a year earlier.

Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms increased by 2.7% excluding bonuses and 3.1% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

Real earnings growth remains in positive territory, with average earnings (including bonuses) currently 0.3% above CPI inflation.

Figure 2 – Nominal average earnings annual growth rates, seasonally adjusted June - August 2013-2018

Source: ONS

For August 2018 in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation):

average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £492 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £477 per week for a year earlier

average total pay (including bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £523 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £508 per week for a year earlier

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