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ONS Labour Market Data – September’s Quarterly Overview

  • Thursday, September 14, 2023
  • The latest labour market data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) pointed to further challenges for employees and job seekers.
  • The rate of unemployment increased, while job vacancies fell once again.
  • The Growth Company (GC) offers a range of services to help individuals into sustained employment; as well as to make sure employers can find the right candidates in a competitive market.

Earlier this week, 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.

Aside from positive pay growth, the data was generally negative in relation to job security and opportunities.

Quarterly Employment Data

The national employment rate stood at 75.5 percent between May and July 2023 – a 0.2 percent decrease on the previous three-month period. According to the ONS, this small drop was mainly accounted for by self-employed workers.

The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percent to 4.3 percent. The ONS said this was driven by those who had been unemployed for up to 12 months.

The economic inactivity rate, meanwhile, increased by 0.1 percent to 21.1 percent. The decrease was largely down to people aged 16 to 24. Inactivity due to long-term sickness also reached a record high.  

Quarterly Job Vacancies

From June to August 2023, the number of job vacancies stood at 989,000 – a reduction of 64,000, or 6.27 percent, on March to May, and the 14th consecutive decline.

Quarterly Wage Growth

During May to July, average total pay growth, which includes bonuses, was 8.5 percent. Average total regular pay growth, which excludes bonuses, was 7.8 percent – the same as the previous period.  

According to the ONS, “[i]n real terms (adjusted for inflation using Consumer Prices Index including owner occupier's housing costs (CPIH)), annual growth for total pay rose on the year by 1.2 percent and for regular pay rose on the year by 0.6 percent.

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