IEA economist responds to ONS labour market data

Commenting on the labour market statistics published by the ONS today, Julian Jessop, Economics Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Today’s strong employment data should help to calm fears that the UK is sliding back into recession, although they also make it harder to argue that interest rates still need to be held at an emergency low of just 0.1 per cent.

“The UK economy is continuing to create jobs at a rapid pace, with the number of payroll jobs increasing by another 207,000 in September. The broader Labour Force Survey measure of employment (which includes self-employment) is lagging behind, but buoyant demand for workers and record vacancies suggest it will catch up soon.

“Headline pay growth predictably slowed as the distortions from the pandemic faded, but the ONS estimates that the underlying rate for regular pay has picked up to between 4.1 per cent and 5.6 per cent. This is a decent increase in real terms – for now. However, price inflation is also set to accelerate, probably to around 5 per cent, and lower-income households in particular face a difficult winter.”


Notes to editors

Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715942731

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