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’.

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