Latest data released by ONS - 14 September 2021

  • Prior -7.8k
  • Claimant count rate %
  • Prior 5.7%
  • July ILO unemployment rate 4.6% vs 4.6% expected
  • Prior 4.7%
  • July employment change 183k
  • Prior 95k
  • July average weekly earnings +8.3% vs +8.2% 3m/3m expected
  • Prior +8.8%
  • July average weekly earnings (ex bonus) +6.8% vs +6.8% 3m/3m expected
  • Prior +7.4%

Slight delay in the release by the source. The number of payrolled employees in the UK increased by 0.8% on the month in August, moving up to 29.1 million as the labour market recovery continues to take shape.

Adding to that is a further drop in the unemployment rate to 4.6% from 4.7% in June.

It has been a gradual process but employment conditions are at least moving back to pre-pandemic levels and that is a positive takeaway going into the year-end.

Elsewhere, wages growth has cooled off a little but still remains high with ONS noting that base effects are still at play so take caution when interpreting the numbers:

However, annual growth in average employee pay is being affected by temporary factors that have inflated the increase in the headline growth rate. These are compositional effects where there has been a fall in the number and proportion of lower-paid employee jobs so increasing average earnings and base effects where the latest months are now compared with low base periods when earnings were first affected by the pandemic.