Today’s ONS data shows that some aspects of the UK labour market continue to perform strongly.
Specifically, the number of people in work has risen once again, driven by an increase people working full-time for a business.
Today's figures show that pay growth in the UK continues to disappoint. In the three months to January 2017, real wages (which strip out the effects of inflation) are now growing at the slowest rate for two years. This underlines the importance of increasing productivity, which remains the only sustainable route to higher wages, and therefore increased living standards.
Today's figures show that real wage growth, which strips out the affects of inflation, in the UK is at its lowest level for over two years. With inflation increasing at a faster pace, more sustainable productivity growth will be needed to drive faster wage growth.
Today's figures show that labour market performance remained steady in the three months to November 2016. The UK‘s flexible labour market remains a mainstay of the economy and will be key to making a success of Brexit.
Despite a year dominated by uncertainty and a changing landscape, optimism among recruiters is relatively high as we prepare to enter 2017. The employment market is now very much back to pre-referendum levels and outlook for the coming year is positive with all the signs pointing towards further increases in people finding jobs, particularly on a permanent basis.
Today's figures show a mixed picture from the labour market over the last three months. With the pace of employment growth slowing and the claimant count rising amidst weaker economic momentum, there is a risk that the labour market will continue to soften in months to come.
Today's figures show the labour market is performing relatively robustly, but with further clear evidence, provided by slowing employment growth and a rising claimant count, that progress has slowed and there is a risk of slipping into reverse in months to come.