The number of people in work in Britain surged unexpectedly in the three months to November and regular wages rose at their fastest rate in almost a year, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics this morning.
The ONS said the number of people in work rose by 102,000 in the three months to November, the biggest increase since the period to July and taking total employment to a record 32.2 million. .
The ONS said workers’ earnings, excluding bonuses, rose by an annual 2.4 percent in the three months to November, the biggest increase since December 2016 and compared with 2.3 percent in the three months to October.
“With the employment rate returning to a joint-record high and the number of vacancies setting a new record, demand for workers clearly remained strong,” ONS statistician David Freeman said.
“Nevertheless inflation remains higher than pay growth and so the real value of earnings continues to decline.”
The data also showed the unemployment rate held at its four-decade low of 4.3 percent though the number of number of unemployment benefit claimants rose by 8,600 to 832,500 in December, lifting the proportion of the workforce claiming jobless benefits to 2.4 percent, the highest rate since February 2015.