PwC comments on labour market data

Sep 11, 2018

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, comments on today's labour market data:

"Labour market data for the three months to July showed a mixed picture, with unemployment down and earnings growth up compared to the previous three months, but total employment remains broadly flat, with economic inactivity levels up over this period.

"Quarterly changes can be erratic, however, and the underlying trend is still for a relatively strong jobs market but only modest real earnings growth by historical standards. 

"In particular, the unemployment rate of 4% was the lowest since the winter of 1974/75, but the level of regular pay, adjusted for inflation, was still £11 a week lower on average than its peak level before the financial crisis.

"What we have yet to see since the financial crisis, is a combination of both strong jobs growth and strong real earnings growth, which the UK did see in some past economic upswings such as the period from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. However, with a period of Brexit-related uncertainty ahead, it may be difficult to achieve this 'golden combination' for some time to come."



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