CBI/Pertemps Labour Market Update March 2016
Labour market looks healthy
Read the CBI/Pertemps Labour Market Update.
Positively, the number of people in work has risen for the seventh consecutive quarter. In the three months to January 2016, the number of people in employment rose by 116,000. Although this was a smaller rise than reported in recent months (employment rose by 205,000 in the final quarter of 2015, for example), it still represents healthy growth. The employment rate now stands at 74.1%.
The Office for National Statistics also released a separate dataset today on the number of jobs created in different sectors of the economy. Data on jobs is distinct from data on employment as while a person is either in employment or not, it is possible to have multiple jobs. Today’s jobs data shows that in the final quarter of 2015, firms in the accommodation & food services (+24,000), transport & storage (+19,000) and professional scientific & technical activities (+18,000) were key drivers of jobs growth.
Today’s data also show that UK unemployment fell. More specifically in the three months to January 2016, the number of people out of work and looking for work fell by 28,000. While still a sizeable decline, this was a smaller fall than we have seen in recent months (in the final quarter of 2015, for example, unemployment fell by 60,000). There are now 1.69 million people unemployed, an unemployment rate of 5.1%.
Turning to look at earnings, peoples’ pay packets are now expanding at a slightly faster pace. Annual growth in regular pay (excl. bonus) in the private sector, edged up from 2.2% in the final quarter of last year to 2.4% in the three months to January 2016. However, regular pay growth is still subdued, and lower than the post-crisis high seen in spring of last year (3.4% in the three months to May).