United Kingdom: Employment surges in November–January, but good times unlikely to last
March 17, 2020
The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9% in November–January, although employment continued to soar, up by 184,000 quarter-on-quarter and beating analysts’ expectations. Regular pay growth (excluding bonuses) ebbed, marking a continuation of the trend observed since mid-2019, but still markedly outpaced inflation. Overall, the data suggests the labor market was in good health early in 2020, although the figures do not reflect the impact of Covid-19 and resulting government containment measures, which will dampen the performance of the labor market in the months ahead.Last month, our panelists saw the unemployment rate averaging 4.0% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021, while wages were seen increasing 3.1% in 2020 and 2021. A new Consensus will be published on 31 March.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist