UK unemployment rises to 3.7% as wages increase at record rate

Sturgeon says 'UK economy is fundamentally on the wrong path'

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Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that unemployment in the UK has risen to 3.7 percent in the three months to November. At the same time, wages in the country are increasing at an unprecedented rate, according to figures from the ONS.

Average earnings, outside of bonuses, were 6.4 percent higher in the three months through November compared to the year before.

This represents the largest increase in wages since records began in 2001, except from during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wages were artificially inflated during the health crisis as a result of the Government’s furlough scheme to support workers.

Despite this hike in wages, the UK’s unemployment rate shows no signs of slowing down amid growing fears of a recession.

The UK economy grew by only 0.1 percent in November 2022, which was better than some forecasts, but is an indicator that economic growth is moving at a slower pace than the Government and economists will want.

Lauren Thomas, economist at Glassdoor said the report has “set the tone for the turbulent economic year ahead: still high economic inactivity and low but rising redundancies are two of the many mixed signals the labour market is giving off”.

She warned: “The large numbers of workers who left the job market since Covid show few signs of returning, with the possible exception of early retirees aged 50-64.

“This group could re-enter the labour market as they face a once-in-a-generation cost of living crisis without the comfort of an inflation-adjusted state pension.

“Recent mass layoffs in tech sparked concern but it’s unclear how much they’ll impact the UK-specific redundancy rate given their global scope.

“Regardless, Glassdoor data shows tech employees are increasingly nervous about the future. Negative business outlook for their employers is 76 percent higher than at the start of the pandemic.”

Despite the hikes to wages, total and regular pay both fell by 2.6 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This is primarily due to the impact of inflation on people’s wages, which is currently at 10.7 percent.

In regards to the job market, the number of vacancies in October to December 2022 came to 1,161,000 over the period.

This represents a decrease of 75,000 from July to September 202 but the number of vacancies continues to be a historic high.

Participation in the labour market among 50 to 64-year-olds has been dropping since the pandemic began.

Today’s figures from the ONS suggest that women are more likely to be the worse impacted by these growing trends.

Prior to the beginning of the pandemic, the UK had 4.98 million economically active men which has increased by 9,000 to 4.99 million.

Comparatively, the number of economically active women has dropped from 4.60 million by 47,000 to 4.55 million.

More to follow…

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