News | Published January 22 2020

Employment rates rise while job vacancies fall, ONS report reveals

Statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that the UK’s employment rate has risen to a new high of 76.3 per cent, largely due to a record number of women in full time work.

In the UK, almost 33 million people are employed - an increase of half a per cent on the three months before November.

126,000 more women were in full time employment in the three months prior to November, compared with the previous quarter. The change in women’s retirement age, from 60 to 65 has contributed to this, with many staying in employment for longer.

The Bank of England were expected to cut interest rates next week, however, the statistics are believed to affect this decision.

Economist at PwC, Jing Teow, said "Wage growth has edged slightly lower from 3.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent for regular pay, but still well above inflation, which should continue to support consumer spending. These signs appear broadly consistent with the weaker-than-expected GDP readings for November last year."

David Freeman, ONS head of labour market, said "The employment rate is at a new record high, with over two-thirds of the growth in people in work in the last year coming from women working full-time.”

"Self-employment has also been growing strongly, and the number of people working for themselves has now passed five million for the first time ever.”

However, the unemployment rate remains largely the same at 3.8 per cent.

The number of job vacancies has fallen by almost 49,000 compared with the previous year.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
January 22 2020

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