Labour market will soon look a lot more gloomy, says IEA expert

Commenting on the UK labour market data, published today by the ONS, Professor Len Shackleton, labour market expert at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“It’s always dangerous to read too much into monthly labour market data, much of which comes to us with a significant time lag.

“The main indicators of employment, unemployment and vacancies repeat last month’s broadly positive picture, although inactivity has risen and it is notable that self-employment remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

“Pay is not keeping pace with inflation. However, the timing of bonuses, the base dates used and (in this case) changes in the way data are collected, can distort the picture.

“More generally, today’s figures reflect the (relative) calm before the storm. They predate the NICs increase, the end of the energy price cap, and the effects of the Ukraine crisis. All these factors will hit prices, wages and jobs in the coming months and it looks likely that labour market data will soon look a lot more gloomy.”


Notes to editors

Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715 942 731

IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.

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