Investment Clock insights

UK labour market looking less robust


Melanie Baker

15 October 2019

The labour market data today looked more consistent with an economy struggling to generate growth. Given uncertainty facing the economy, more caution in hiring has seemed likely for a while. Surveys had been pointing to a somewhat weaker labour market going into this data too. With uncertainty persisting, relating to Brexit and other factors including global growth prospects, this data seems likely to show some further weakness yet.
The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth to 3.9% - still a very low level and employment fell (56K). The numbers of full-time employees was up only 5K, with the numbers of part-time workers falling. Vacancies continue to drift lower too and redundancies rose.
Regular pay growth remained relatively strong however (by recent UK standards), with regular pay growth at 3.8% (3M/Y), leaving pay growth in real terms around 2.0% and supportive for the consumer.

The labour market data today looked more consistent with an economy struggling to generate growth. Given uncertainty facing the economy, more caution in hiring has seemed likely for a while. Surveys had been pointing to a somewhat weaker labour market going into this data too. With uncertainty persisting, relating to Brexit and other factors including global growth prospects, this data seems likely to show some further weakness yet.

The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth to 3.9% - still a very low level and employment fell (56K). The numbers of full-time employees was up only 5K, with the numbers of part-time workers falling. Vacancies continue to drift lower too and redundancies rose.

Regular pay growth remained relatively strong however (by recent UK standards), with regular pay growth at 3.8% (3M/Y), leaving pay growth in real terms around 2.0% and supportive for the consumer.

Source: Refinitiv Datastream as at 31/07/2019

Source: Refinitiv Datastream as at 31/07/2019

Source: Refinitiv Datastream as at 15/08/2019

Source: Refinitiv Datastream as at 15/05/2019

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