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Unemployment in the UK has fallen again as employers continue to add workers to their salaries… but wages are now chasing inflation again.
According to the National Statistical Office, the unemployment rate fell to 4.1% in the September-November quarter. This is down from 4.2% a month ago.
Salaries continue to increase as well. ONS estimates that employers added 184,000 additional employees in December, bringing salaries to 409,000, or 1.4% above pre-pandemic levels.
All regions are now above pre-coronavirus levels, with Scotland seeing the biggest increase this month.
UK Pay Level Photos: ONS
Between October and December, 1,247,000 vacancies were created, vacancies again hitting all-time highs.
That’s a 462,000 increase from pre-pandemic, marking a record number of vacancies across most industries, with an all-time high of 4.1 vacancies per 100 employees. But vacancy growth has slowed, ONS warns.
Sean Farrington (@seanfarrington)
The increase in current vacancies does not stop. This is the chart for the last 15 years. pic.twitter.com/A5jTqxPxXF
January 18, 2022
The layoff rate fell to an all-time low after the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) crisis, suggesting that the termination of unpaid leave did not have a significant impact on the job market.
However, the economic suspension rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 21.3%, indicating that more people are leaving the labor market due to schooling, early retirement, or illness.
Sam Abanzo Windett
Today’s @ONS stats (September – November compared to previous quarter): UK employment rate up to 75.5%; unemployment rate fell to 4.1%; Economic inactivity rate continues to rise worryingly – rising 0.2 percentage points to 21.3%https://t.co/oxWvwR4bJS
January 18, 2022
And real average weekly earnings from salaries fell in November 2021 for the first time since July 2020 (more on that shortly).
Coming up today
The Bank of Japan raised its growth and inflation forecasts overnight, increasing the likelihood of an escalation in recent commodity-focused price hikes.
Shane Oliver (@ShaneOliverAMP)
#BoJ put monetary policy on hold, as widely expected. This is understandable given that inflation is still close to zero. However, it has raised its growth forecast for fiscal 2022 (to 3.8%) and inflation forecast (to 1.1%).
January 18, 2022
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio speaks today at the World Economic Forum’s virtual Davos Agenda and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks.
On the economic side, we get late German economic fraud data and health checks on factories in the New York State area.
European stock markets could open lower as bond yields rise as investors anticipate several US rate hikes this year.
ACEMAXX analysis (@acemaxx)
#Eurodollar Futures #spread pointed to Fed rate hike at least 4x in 2022 (short-term yields rise faster than long-term yields, #UST yield curve flattens), chart @BloombergQuint https://t.co /fwS5Uqrc pic.twitter.com/wocnr0BceP
18 January 2022 Agenda 8am GMT: EU Finance Ministers hold EcoFin meeting. 10am GMT: ZEW German Economic Sentiment Survey 10am GMT: Special Speech by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Davos Agenda 11am GMT: Kishida Fumio Special Speech, Prime Minister of Japan, Davos Agenda 1:30pm GMT: New York Empire State Manufacturing Index
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