Record high for num­ber in work

Cynon Valley - - YOUR VIEWS -

THE num­ber of peo­ple in work has reached a record high, while earn­ings have “nudged up” al­though still grow­ing more slowly than prices, new fig­ures re­veal.

Em­ploy­ment in­creased by 168,000 in the quar­ter to Jan­uary to 32.2 mil­lion, the high­est fig­ure since records be­gan in 1971, giv­ing a joint record rate of 75.3%.

De­spite the in­crease, there was a rise of 24,000 in un­em­ploy­ment, to 1.45 mil­lion, fol­low­ing a sim­i­lar jump in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

Un­em­ploy­ment is 127,000 lower than a year ago, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics (ONS), and is at a record low for men aged 25 to 34.

The num­ber of peo­ple classed as eco­nom­i­cally in­ac­tive, in­clud­ing stu­dents, those on long-term sick, those who have taken early re­tire­ment or who have given up look­ing for work, fell by 136,000 to 8.7 mil­lion in the lat­est quar­ter, giv­ing a rate of 21%, a joint record low.

It was the big­gest quar­terly fall for more than five years.

The claimant count, which in­cludes peo­ple on Job­seeker’s Al­lowance and the un­em­ploy­ment el­e­ment of Univer­sal Credit, in­creased by 9,200 last month to 837,800, the high­est for more than three years.

Av­er­age earn­ings in­creased by 2.8% in the year to Jan­uary, a rise of 0.1% on the pre­vi­ous month, and the high­est since Septem­ber 2015.

The fig­ure is 0.6% higher than a year ago.

Job va­can­cies were up by 10,000 to 816,000.

The num­ber of self-em­ployed work­ers fell for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive quar­ter – down by 27,000 to 4.78 mil­lion.

There were 5.35 mil­lion peo­ple em­ployed in the pub­lic sec­tor at the end of last year, down by 132,000 from Septem­ber, caused by the trans­fer of English hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion em­ploy­ees to the pri­vate sec­tor.

Pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ment ac­counted for 16.6% of all peo­ple in work, the low­est since records be­gan in 1999.

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