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Economics Gazette

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November 17, 2019

UK employment reached an unexpected 47-year high

UK employmentThe number of UK employees grew unexpectedly between September and November, while wages in the country are growing at the fastest pace in nearly one year. The UK Bureau of National Statistics said the number of workers increased by 102,000 for the three months to November. This is the largest growth since July, and the total number of employed in the economy reaches a record 32.2 million people. The figured surpassed the analysts expectations, as the economists forecast decrease of 13,000 people. However, the employment rate reached 75.3%, the highest overall rate since 1971.

The British economy slowed down in 2017, as higher inflation has reduced household consumption. However, job creation has proved to be quite good.

The data also show that workers’ earnings, excluding bonuses, increased by 2.4% annually in the three months to November, thus accounting for the largest increase since December 2016. For comparison, in the previous three months to October, growth was 2.3%. Total wage growth, including bonuses, is 2.5%, remaining unchanged from the previous period.

The UK unemployment for December stood at a 40-year low, reaching a level of 4.3%, fully meeting the expectations of analysts. These are the lowest levels since 1975.

In December, the UK unemployed grew by 8,600, which is more than the projected 5,400, and the November data were revised to 12,200 from 5,900. For the three months to December, employment increased by 102,000.

The Central Bank of England raised interest rates in November for the first time in a decade, as central bankers believe the sharp fall in unemployment will soon begin to raise wages.

November Consumer Inflation reached its highest level in six years – 3.1%. This reduces real wages by 0.5% on an annual basis.

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