Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Women drive latest rise in UK employment as pay growth disappoints yet again

The UK jobs boom continues according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures - mostly covering the three months to August 2017 - published earlier this morning  

Job growth in the latest quarter is driven mostly by women who account for more than 8 in 10 of the total net increase in employment of 94,000 (taking the overall employment rate to 75.1%) . Almost all these additional women in work are in part-time jobs, split fairly evenly between part-time female employees (up 42,000) and part-time female self-employed (up 45,000). Men by contrast have seen a rise of 29,000 in the number working full-time offset by a fall of 13,000 working part-time. However, although this overall degree and make-up of employment growth is good for the unemployment figures – with the unemployment rate again at a 42-year low of 4.3% – it is failing to exert leverage on growth in average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses) in either cash terms (running at an annual growth rate of 2.1%) or real terms (down 0.4% on the year). While the headline jobless and price inflation rates imply the economy needs a small interest rate rise, the pay growth figures say ‘not quite yet’.