Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Strong employment, weak pay
Posted by David Smith at 10:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The employment numbers continue to surprise on the upside, with an 80,000 rise in the Labour Force Survey measure (to 29.2m) in the latest three months and an 88,000 drop in unemployment to 2.43m, 7.7% of the workforce. Employment is up by 376,000 over the past year, and is now only 333,000 below pre-recession levels.

Pay growth, however, remains weak, with total pay up by just 1.8% over the past 12 months and pay excluding bonuses up by 2%. You might say people are pricing themselves into jobs.

The claimant count rose by 19,600 to 1.49m last month. Normally a good indicator, it is unclear how much this is being distorted by deliberate action to move claimants off other benefits. More here on the numbers.

Also released, figures for public sector employment which showed a 24,000 first quarter fall, with a 27,000 drop in local government employment but, interestingly, a 7,000 rise in the number of civil servants.