UK employment suffers sharpest dip in four years as wage growth stalls

Support us and go ad-free

UK employment suffered its sharpest decline in more than four years in the three months to August, new figures reveal.

The number of people in work declined by 56,000 to 32.69 million in the quarter, as the number of people claiming unemployment benefits jumped higher, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The slump was significantly below forecasts by economists, who had predicted a 26,000 rise in employment.

The quarterly decline in employment was the heaviest fall since May 2015, when the level of employment slid by 65,000.

Unemployment also increased in August, rising from a 45-year low reported in July.

The level of UK unemployment increased by 22,000 to 1.31 million for the quarter, as the proportion of people out of work also increased.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Analysts had previously predicted that the rate of unemployment would stay flat at 3.8%, but the figures revealed an increase to 3.9% for the period.

Meanwhile, the jobs market weakened, as it slid to the eighth consecutive month of falling vacancies.

The number of vacancies fell by 11,000 to 813,000, the lowest level of vacancies since November 2017.

However, the fall represents a slowdown after vacancies had slid by 23,000 in the previous month.

The decline in employment was linked to the falling number of people under 25 in work, while all other age groups saw an increase in employment.

Meanwhile, the number of people deemed economically inactive increased by 57,000 to 8.68 million for the quarter.

Earnings continued to grow ahead of inflation, but the rate of wage growth slowed to 3.8% from 4% last month. Analysts had predicted that wage growth would stay at 4%.

Matt Hughes, deputy head of labour market statistics at the ONS, said: “The employment rate is rising year on year, but this growth has cooled noticeably in recent months.

“Among the under-25s, the employment rate has actually started to fall on the year.

“Pay growth continues to outstrip inflation, as it has done for over 18 months now.”

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us