The ONS yesterday (wednesday) released their latest labour market statistics.
Comparing August-October 2013 with a year earlier, there were 485,000 more people in employment, 121,000 fewer unemployed people and 156,000 fewer people aged from 16 to 64 not in the labour force (economically inactive).
Comparing August to October 2013 with the previous three months, the number of people in employment increased by 250,000 (to reach 30.09 million), the number of unemployed people fell by 99,000 (to reach 2.39 million) and the number of people not in the labour force aged from 16 to 64 fell by 45,000 (to reach 8.92 million).
Average weekly earnings
Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 0.8% comparing August to October 2013 with the same period a year earlier. In cash terms, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were £448 in October 2013, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay; this is up from £443 a year earlier.
The average weekly wage, including bonus payments, rose by 0.9% comparing August to October 2013 with the same period a year earlier. Average weekly wages including bonus payments before taxes and other deductions from gross pay were £476 in October 2013, up from £471 a year earlier.
Private sector earnings up 1.3% on the year but public sector earnings down 0.3%
Average weekly earnings including bonus payments rose by 0.9% comparing August to October 2013 with the same period a year earlier. Average weekly earnings for the private sector increased by 1.3% but average weekly earnings for the public sector fell by 0.3%.
In October 2013 average pay including bonus payments in the private sector was £473 a week, £16 a week lower than the public sector figure of £489 a week. However, excluding publicly owned financial corporations, average weekly pay in the public sector was only £6 a week higher than for the private sector, at £479 a week.
10% of people aged 65 and over were in work, the highest percentage since comparable records began in 1992
Looking in more detail at the percentage of people in employment by age group for August-October 2013, for those aged from 16 to 64 the employment rate was 72.0%, the highest since November 2008-January 2009 but lower than before the 2008-09 downturn. The highest employment rates were for people aged from 25 to 49 where 8 out of 10 people were in work. The lowest employment rates were for people aged from 16 to 24 where just over half of people were in work. Many young people were not in work because they were in full-time education. For people aged 65 and over, 1 person in 10 were in work, the highest employment rate for this age group since comparable records began in 1992.
Public sector employment
For September 2013 there were 5.7 million people working in the public sector across the UK accounting for 18.8% of people in employment. This is the lowest percentage since the series began in 1999. The public sector comprises of 2.8 million people working in central government, 2.4 million working in local government and 459,000 in public corporations. Looking in more detail at the types of industries the top three for September 2013 were the National Health Service (NHS) which employed 1.6 million people, Education which employed 1.5 million people and Public Administration which employed 1.1 million people.
Commenting on the figures, Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “It is really encouraging news that the number of people in jobs has increased by a quarter of a million in the last 3 months, bringing the total number of people in work to a record-breaking 30 million. Together with a big fall in unemployment, this shows that the government’s long-term economic plan to get people off benefits and into work is proving successful.
It’s also thanks to British businesses up and down the country who are feeling increasingly confident about taking on workers. This is a great sign that the economy is growing.”