UK Labour Market August 2019 (ONS)

The latest labour market data from the ONS shows the number of people in work continued to increase in the three months to June, 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 3.9% in the quarter to June, down from 4.0% a year earlier but up on the 3.8% reported last month. The unemployment rate for women remained at 3.6% – the joint-lowest on record – while the rate for men edged up 0.1% points to 4.1% compared to the previous year.

In the three months to June, the number of people in employment came in at 32.8 million, up by 115,000 on the previous period and up 425,000 on the previous year.

Job vacancies have been falling in the UK since early 2019. There were an estimated 820,000 vacancies between May and July – down 4,000 on the previous period and 20,000 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 July.

Number of vacancies in the UK, seasonally adjusted, May to July 2001 to May to July 2019

The employment rate for people aged 16 to 64 years came in at 76.1% in the three months to June. This marked 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, up by 3.9% excluding bonuses and 3.7% including bonuses in the quarter to June. This suggests that real earnings are currently growing at around 1.9%.

Great Britain average weekly earnings excluding bonuses, seasonally adjusted, January 2000 to June 2019

Source: ONS

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

average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £505 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £486 per week for a year earlier

average total pay (including bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £537 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £518 per week for a year earlier

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