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ONS Labour Market Data: February’s Quarterly Overview

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2024
  • The latest labour market data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested a more positive outlook for employees and job seekers.
  • While the rates of employment increased and unemployment decreased, vacancies continued to drop.
  • The Growth Company (GC) offers a range of services to help individuals into sustained employment and make sure employers can find the right candidates in a competitive market.

Today, the ONS published its latest quarterly overview of the UK labour market. The report included estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, wage growth, and other employment-related statistics.

Data from the newly reintroduced Labour Force Survey painted a rosier picture than previous estimates, showing a rise in employment levels, a drop in the unemployment rate, and strong wage growth. While vacancies fell, they remained above pre-pandemic levels.

Quarterly Employment Data

The national employment rate stood at 75.0 percent between October and December 2023 – the same as the previous valid three-month period (September to November 2023). The unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percent to 3.8 percent. Meanwhile, the economic inactivity rate flatlined at 21.9 percent.

Quarterly Job Vacancies

From November 2023 to January 2024, the number of job vacancies stood at 932,000 – a reduction of 26,000, or 1.6 percent, on September to November, and the 19th consecutive decline.

Quarterly Wage Growth

During October to December, average total pay growth, which includes bonuses, was 5.8 percent. Average total regular pay growth, which excludes bonuses, was 6.2 percent – a drop on the previous period.  

According to the ONS, “[i]n real terms (adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH)) for total pay rose on the year by 1.4 percent in October to December 2023, and for regular pay rose on the year by 1.8 percent.”

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