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UK employment data shows welcome good news

Aug 16
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There has been good news from the employment market this week, with data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing both employment and wages are up.

According to the organisation, wage growth rose to 3.9 per cent in the year to June 2019, the highest since June 2008 and greater than the 3.8 per cent predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Meanwhile, the estimated employment rate of 76.1 per cent was the joint highest since 1971, with 32.81 million people in employment.

The employment rate for women was the highest on record at 72.1 per cent, while for men it was 80.1 per cent, only just lower than in the previous three-month period.

However, the unemployment rate from April to June did show a slight increase.

Some of the growth in wages was attributed to the timing of annual pay rises for people in the public health sector, as well as to boosts in the national minimum and living wage in April.

When the data was adjusted for inflation, regular pay in real terms went up by 1.9 per cent.

Chancellor Sajid Javid said: "Today's figures are another sign that, despite the challenges across the global economy, the fundamentals of the British economy are strong as we prepare to leave the EU."

Chief economist at Deloitte Ian Stewart commented: "The days of sharply falling unemployment are behind us, but a tight labour market points to further gains in wages and spending power. Despite a second quarter decline in growth, the UK economy still has momentum."

This is likely to be welcome news for economic analysts after data showed last week that the British economy had declined for the first time since 2012.

Although this had not been forecast, it was expected that the economy would show a period of stagnation.

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