Job vacancies at all-time high as numbers in work fall

13 December, 2017, 17:10 | Author: Regina Silva

The number of people in work has fallen by 56,000 in recent months, the biggest quarterly drop in more than two years, new figures show.

The employment rate between August and October 2017 was 75.1%, down from the 75.3% recorded in the preceding three months, but up from 74.4% a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Average weekly earnings rose by 2.5 per cent year on year in the three-month period to October, but lagged behind Britain's annual inflation rate of 3.1 per cent, further eroding workers' purchasing power.

It takes the total number of those out of work to 114,000.

Meanwhile, the number of employed workers fell for the second month in a row and only for the second time since October past year, dropping by 56,000 to 32.08 million in the quarter to October, compared to the previous three months.

The unemployment rate was 4.3% in the three months to October, unchanged from the previous reading.

The jobless total fell by 26,000 to 1.4 million, which is 182,000 lower than a year ago. "Meanwhile the number of vacancies continues to grow, reaching a new record high".

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However, when taking inflation into consideration, average weekly earnings for employees in real terms fell by 0.2% including bonuses and 0.4% excluding bonuses.

Central government employment increased by 29,000 over the past quarter to just over three million, mainly because of schools converting to academies, while the number of people employed in local government fell by 9,000 to 2.1 million, the lowest since records began in 1999.

It included a 34,000 rise in the number of students as well as 50,000 more people sick and an additional 8,000 who have given up looking for work.

Private sector employment fell by 75,000 to 26.5 million.

The figures come a day after official data showed inflation had risen to a near six-year high of 3.1% in November - forcing the Bank of England to explain the unexpected rise to Chancellor Philip Hammond.

However, the unemployment rate remains at 4.3 per cent, the lowest in more than 40 years.

"Real wages have now fallen for the last eight months in a row and working people will be worse off this Christmas than they were a decade ago".

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