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UK employment reaches highest on record

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According to official data released by the Office for National Statistics, the number of those in employment has risen to a of 32.54m.

Average earnings rose by 3.3% in the year to November, excluding bonuses and wage rises are still outpacing inflation.

David Freeman, ONS head of labour market said, “The number of people working grew again, with the share of the population in work now the highest on record.

“Meanwhile, the share of the workforce looking for work and unable to find it remains at its lowest for over 40-years, helped by a record number of job vacancies.

“Wage growth continues to outpace inflation, which fell back slightly in the latest month.”

Alok Sharma, employment minister said, “Our pro-business policies have helped boost private sector employment by 3.8m since 2010, and as the Resolution Foundation’s latest report shows, the ‘jobs-boom has helped some of the most disadvantaged groups find employment’, providing opportunities across society.”

Samuel Tombs, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said, “We doubt that wage growth will be sustained over the next six months at November’s strong rate.

“Pay settlements likely will weaken this year, as the previous year’s inflation rate usually is the starting point for negotiations.

“Note too that public sector wage growth also will decline later this year, because most NHS workers will receive only a 1.8% pay increase, down from 3.0% in 2018. Nonetheless, the labour market now looks tight enough to ensure that wage growth does not slip below the 3% mark.”

However, Dr Carole Easton OBE, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust said, “Today’s record high UK employment figures are welcome news but unemployment among young women has risen by 27,000 since the previous quarter. In total, more than half a million young women are out of work and full-time education.

“Equally, it is fantastic that pay has grown at the fastest rate on record in the last quarter but in-work poverty remains rife. For many, an hour’s childcare still costs more than an hour’s wages.

“Much more needs to be done to support young women – many of whom tell us they want to work and live independently.

“Young Women’s Trust is calling on the Government to give young women the right skills and support to find jobs, ensure decent and flexible jobs are available, and extend the National Living Wage to under-25s, so they are paid the same amount for the same work.”




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