UK employment rate hits new record high for July to September as wage growth tails off
The UK's employment rate soared to a new record high in the third quarter of this year, although wage growth appears to be tailing off slightly.
There were 31.21m people in work for July to September, pushing the employment rate to 73.7 per cent, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 per cent during this period, down from 5.6 per cent between April and June, and the lowest since April 2008.
Annual average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, increased 2.5 per cent, the weakest reading since the first quarter of 2015. And including bonuses, average weekly earnings growth held steady at three per cent.
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“These figures continue the recent strengthening trend in the labour market, with a new record high in the employment rate and the unemployment rate still at its lowest since spring 2008," Nick Palmer, statistician at the ONS, said.
"Earnings continue to grow, albeit the rate for regular pay has fallen back a little from recent months."
Chancellor George Osborne used today's news to trumpet the Conservative government's economic policies.
"With full-time employees making up three quarters of the increase in employment over the past year and wages rising three per cent, it is clear that our plan for a high-employment and high-wage economy is working," Osborne said.