The unemployment rate in the UK has fallen to a seven year low, suggesting the green shoots of recovery are now developing into saplings. The figures do suggest though that wage rises are not proving particularly forthcoming.
The unemployment figure now stands at 5.3 percent in the three months to September. The number of people out of work fell by 103,000 between July and September to 1.75 million, the lowest jobless rate since the second quarter of 2008, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
All in all there were 31.21 million people in work, 177,000 more than for the April-to-June quarter and 419,000 more than in the same period a year earlier, numbers that will be heartily welcomed in Downing Street.
“These figures continue the recent strengthening trend in the labour market, with a new record high in the employment rate and the unemployment rate still at its lowest level since spring 2008,” ONS statistician Nick Palmer said of the figures.
The total earnings of workers, including bonuses, in the three months to September were up 3 percent from a year earlier, the same rate as in the three months to August. In September, total wages rose by 2.0 percent, down from 3.2 percent the previous month, equating to the weakest increase since February.
Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings growth slowed to 2.5 percent in the third quarter and 1.9 percent in September, both the weakest since the first quarter of 2015.