Posted on 12/11/2015 by Kirsty Craig
Labour market seems in good health.
- After a wobbly patch earlier in the year, today’s data shows a labour market which seems to be in rude health. Employment has risen solidly due, in the main, to a rise in the number of job opportunities offered by businesses as opposed to an increase in the number of people choosing to work for themselves.
- Continuing the positive story, today’s data show that unemployment fell. In the three months to September, unemployment fell by 103,000, leaving 1.7 million people out of work and looking for work. As a result, the unemployment rate has now fallen back to 5.3% which is only fractionally higher than just before the crisis began (5.2%).
- With employment up and unemployment down, we are approaching full employment. Whilst reaching full employment is a goal we should be working towards, as we get closer, skills shortages are starting to bite. Currently this is most notable in the construction sector where some businesses are finding it hard to recruit bricklayers, for example.
- Although as we have described, more people have been moving into work, the picture on pay is less rosy. Annual growth in regular pay (excl. bonus) in the private sector fell from 3.2% in the three months to August to 2.8% in the three months to September. Rock-bottom inflation however, means that pay packets are still stretching further at the till.
The next labour market statistics will be published on 16 December. We will be preparing a further member briefing then.
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