Employment rate stabilises | RBS Invoice Finance

Employment rate holds steady, weekly earnings rise

The employment rate in the UK remained steady at 5.1% in January, while weekly earnings rose and overall job creation slowed, according to the Financial Times.

The 5.1 per cent employment rate in January 2016 was the lowest level recorded since 2006. In the three months up until January, some 116,000 more people were employed compared to the previous three months between August and October 2015.

Average weekly earnings rose by 2.1 per cent, including work-related bonuses between November 2015 and January 2016. This figure was up from a growth rate of 1.9 per cent between October and December of 2015. When bonuses are excluded, this figure was slightly larger on average, rising 2.2 per cent during the same period, compared to 2 per cent from October to December.

In February this year, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since April 1975. Around 716,700 people claimed unemployment benefits in February 2016, which translated to 18,000 fewer than the previous month and 102,500 fewer than the past year.

Commenting on the figures, Howard Archer from IHS Economics said:

“While the jobs data look relatively stable, [if you] scratch beneath the surface there are signs that employment growth could be starting to lose momentum.

“Some easing back in underlying job growth was likely the consequence of the UK recently finding growth more challenging, companies finding it hard to get the qualified/skilled workers they need and also from companies looking to lift the productivity of their employees in the face of the forthcoming introduction of the National Living Wage from April 2016.”

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