Thursday, February 16, 2017

UK Employment at record high

Figures released this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  show that The employment rate edged higher to 74.6%, which was a record high
"Continued moderate growth in employment has led to a new high in the total employment rate, while the rate for women has reached 70% for the first time on record," said ONS senior statistician David Freeman.

The estimated number of people out of work dropped very slightly and ONS said the jobless rate held steady at an 11-year low of 4.8%.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that the UK jobs market had remained resilient, despite warnings it would be hit by the Brexit vote.

"The UK labour market continues to confound the doom-mongers with its resilience to the Brexit shock," he added.

ONS figures also showed that real wages continue to rise, with average wages up at an annualised rate of 2.6% in the three months to December 2016 which is higher than either the 1.6% increase in prices over the year to that month or the the most recent figure for inflation, the 1.8% in the year to January.

Separately, an ONS "flash" estimate indicated that UK productivity grew for a fourth successive quarter in the fourth quarter of 2016: it reported that output per hour worked rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter.

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