Uk employment at record high but wages still falling

Total employment rose 102,000 in just three months, to 32.2 million, stretching the employment rate to 75.3%.

This is the highest recorded level since early 1970’s.

Unemployment fell very slightly, leaving the 16-plus jobless rate unchanged at 4.3%, the lowest seen since 1975.

Vacancies also saw a record high of 810,000 in three months to December, indicating strong demand from firms.

The Office for National Statistics reported average total wages were up by just 2.3% year-on-year , but when factoring in inflation, real pay is on the decline.

The overall data underscores the challenge for Bank of England’s interest-rate setters, who tend to regard rising employment and low unemployment as evidence of the declining economy, but who have also been waiting for wage growth to re-engage.

The latest wage data implies that real wages fell by 0.2% in November, indicating households’ disposable incomes were still under pressure at the end of last year.

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