ONS Jobs Market Data | UK Recruitment News


eBoss reviews the latest government employment figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest tranche of UK jobs market data. EBoss reviews the figures, and breaks down the information into four key areas of the market, that will be relevant to recruiters and their clients:

  • Employment Rate
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Economic Activity
  • Wage Growth

UK Employment Data May to July 2019

The UK employment rate stood at 76.1 per cent, for the period of the report. This equals the highest levels of employment on record. The UK has not seen such high levels of employment since late 1971 – when records began. The current figure shows a 0.6 per cent improvement on a year earlier (75.5 per cent).

What is this?
Employment figures tell us the proportion of people aged 16 to 65, who are in paid work.

Employment estimates for the period of study suggest 32.78 million individuals in work. The increase over the year earlier is 369,000.

The largest portion of increased employment was among female workers. The female workforce expanded by 284,000 in the last twelve months. This is equivalent to 72.1 per cent of the UK female population. This is the highest rate on record. The growth of the female workforce is largely attributed to the increase in female retirement and pensionable age.

The number of males in work grew by 86,000 in the past year. However, this final figure shows a 0.1 per cent reduction on the previous quarter of 2019.

UK Unemployment Data May to July 2019

The rate of unemployment in the UK currently stands at an estimated 3.8 per cent. It is the joint-lowest rate of unemployment since October 1974. The figure suggests no change on the previous quarter, and 0.4 per cent lower than a year earlier (4.0 per cent).

What is this?
Unemployment is an estimate of individuals who have not been in paid work – or seeking active employment – within the last four weeks. The unemployment rate only considers those who are available to begin work within the next two weeks.

Unemployment figures are published as a proportion of economically active individuals. It is not a proportion of all working age (16-65) individuals within the UK.

UK Economic Activity Data May to July 2019

Economic inactivity remained unchanged on the previous quarter, at 20.8 per cent. Economic inactivity was reduced by 0.4 per cent on the previous year.

What is this?
Economic inactivity shows the rate of individuals without paid work who are not classified as unemployed. Individuals may be classified as “economically inactive”, rather than unemployed, for several reasons. Economic activity includes:

• Individuals not actively seeking work within the last four weeks.
• Unable to start work within the next two weeks.

Reasons for economic inactivity includes sickness, disability, and full-time education.

The ONS only considers individuals aged 16-64 when compiling data on economic activity.

UK Salaries and Earnings Data May to July 2019

Wages have increased steadily in the year to date. Average wage growth increased by 4.0 per cent for total pay – which includes bonuses. Regular pay (without bonuses) grew by 3.8 per cent – a slight reduction on the previous quarter.
What is this?
UK wage growth measures the nominal increase in average salaries within the period of study. This is a measure of the numerical increase in wages.

The ONS also provides real-terms wage information. This measure the increase in purchasing power for UK workers, by adjusting wage growth against inflation.

In real terms, full pay (including bonuses) increased by 2.1 per cent in the year to date. Standard pay went up by 1.9 per cent within the period of study.

• READ MORE: Download the full ONS report here.


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