New figures have shown Britain’s employment boom is rolling on.
In the second quarter of 2018, the number of people in work rose by 42,000 compared to the first quarter to reach 32.39 million.
This was 313,000 higher than during the second quarter of last year.
Pricing themselves into jobs
But there is a price to be paid for the UK’s jobs miracle, as the wage figures show. Compared with a year earlier, average weekly earnings in “real”, i.e. inflation-adjusted terms, rose by just 0.4% excluding bonuses and 0.1% including bonuses.
Because these numbers measure growth rather than absolute cash terms, it is possible for the figure with bonuses to be lower than the figure that excludes them.
What both figures suggest is that people are pricing themselves into jobs by declining to demand the sort of pay rises that would have been unexceptional ten or twenty years ago.
Unemployment statistics UK, defined as people not in work but both seeking and work available, dropped by 65,000 to 1.36 million in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, and by 124,000 compared with the April-June quarter in 2017.