The latest fall in employment suggests that Britain’s remarkable jobs boom may finally be coming to an end, the Resolution Foundation said today (Wednesday) in response to the latest labour market data.
After a remarkable jobs boom dating back to early 2012, employment has plateaued at close to a record high of 75 per cent since June 2017. The employment rate has fallen for the past two successive quarters – the first sustained fall since March 2013.
The total number of hours worked has also fallen by 0.6 per cent, or 5.9 million hours, on the quarter. This, combined with the economy growing over the same period, suggests that productivity may be finally starting to strengthen.
Britain’s pay squeeze continued – with real regular pay growth falling by 0.4 per cent. The pay squeeze is set to deepen towards the end of 2017 before easing at the start of next year.
Stephen Clarke, Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:
“Britain’s remarkable jobs boom looks like it may have finally reached the end of the road, with employment falling slightly since June of this year.
“This still leaves Britain with one of the highest employment rates in Europe, though still some way behind countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
“We have also seen a fall in the total number of hours worked, the silver lining of which is that it suggests productivity growth may finally be strengthening.
“Britain’s equally remarkable pay squeeze will continue to bite in the run-up to Christmas, with wage growth for 2018 expected to be anaemic at best.”