Employment and unemployment both rise

The latest labour market figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that both employment and unemployment have risen. The comparatively unusual simultaneous increase in both employment and unemployment is connected to a fall in the number of individuals classed as economically inactive.
The number of people employed in the UK grew by 96,000 to 31.233 million in the three months to October 2018. The rise is due in particular to the numbers of full-time workers increasing. The employment rate rose to 75.7%.
At the same time however, unemployment has also increased marginally by 21,000 with the rate staying at 4.2%.
The reason unemployment has increased at the same time as employment is mainly because the numbers of those classed as economically inactive have fallen. A large proportions of these individuals – mostly previously long-term sick – are now available for and looking for work, and as a result have moved into the ‘unemployed’ category, leading to the rise seen in the latter.
Vacancies and redundancies show the same trend as in September with vacancy numbers rising by 18,000 to 849,000, and redundancies falling to 83,000, a decrease of 4,000. The change in both these sets of figures indicates that the availability of work continues to increase.

Summary statistics on UK labour market, September 2018
MeasureLevel (000's)Quarterly change in level (000's)Rate %Quarterly change in rate
Employment (16-64)31,2339675.70.2%
Unemployment (16-64)1,365214.20.0%
Economic inactivity (16-64)8,663-9521.0-0.2%
Vacancies849181.6*0.0%
Redundancies83-43.0-0.1%
* Number of unemployed people per vacancy
Next release: 22 January 2019

Average earnings growth rate rises to 3.3%

The rate of growth in total average weekly earnings across the whole economy rose to 3.3% in the year to October, up from 3.1% in the year to September and from 2.8% in the year to August. Average earnings growth was strong in all sectors of the economy other than in manufacturing, where it was just 2.0%.

Stronger bonus payments in the finance and business services sector, construction and the wider services sector, which includes communications and transport, lifted overall earnings in these sectors and this in turn lifted the whole economy figure. Lower bonus payments had previously held back overall pay growth, but this changed in October.

Continue reading Average earnings growth rate rises to 3.3%

Pay reviews – Median back up to 2.5% on foot of higher private sector awards

Our latest analysis shows the median pay award across the economy back at 2.5% for the three months to the end of October 2018, having dipped to 2.4% in September. The interquartile range has widened marginally from between 2% and 2.8% to between 2% and 2.9% and the average has also ticked up, under the influence of more higher-end awards in the private sector, with a quarter of pay awards worth 3% or more in the latest period.

Continue reading Pay reviews – Median back up to 2.5% on foot of higher private sector awards

Pay reviews – One third of pay awards at or above 3.0%

While the median pay increase across the economy remains steady at 2.5%, the proportion of awards at or above 3% has increased in the three months to the end of September 2018, according to the latest monitored figures from IDR. The private sector median also remains at 2.5%. The proportion of higher awards, ie those at or above 3.0%, account for a third of all the awards in the sample, up from a quarter in the previous period.

Continue reading Pay reviews – One third of pay awards at or above 3.0%

Increase to statutory minimum rates

The Government has raised the minimum wage based on the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations. The new statutory minimum for workers aged 25 and over, or the National Living Wage (NLW), will increase by 4.9% to £8.21 in April 2019.

The LPC have said that the NLW is on track to rise to £8.62 in April 2020 based on the target of 60% of median earnings.

Bryan Sanderson, Chair of the LPC, said:

I am pleased that the Government has again accepted in full the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for future minimum wage rates. The increase in the National Living Wage (NLW) to £8.21 in April 2019 will ensure a pay rise for the lowest-paid workers that exceeds both inflation and average earnings.