United Kingdom: Employment surges in October-December, but wage growth loses steam
February 18, 2020
The unemployment rate was stable at 3.8% in the October–December period, a multi-decade low. Moreover, employment soared by 180,000 quarter-on-quarter on more full-time jobs, while the number of vacancies rose in November-January. However, regular pay growth (excluding bonuses) continued to ebb from the peak reached in mid-2019. Despite slower pay growth though, the figures suggest the labor market is in strong health.
Regarding the labor market outlook, James Smith, an economist at ING, comments: “Virtually every business survey has pointed towards improved sentiment since December, including the latest KPMG/REC survey that highlighted a sharp rise in the number of job adverts, as well as a modest pick-up in placements. […] But there is a risk that activity in the jobs market remains partially constrained by the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future UK-EU trade relations.”
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist