Work is becoming less rewarding but more of us are getting a paycheque than ever before. People officially unemployed is falling but the number of us out of the labour market continues to rise and this is particularly amongst those over 50
— Alistair McQueen (@HelloMcQueen) November 15, 2022
The ONS tell us – we’re not lazy , we’re sick
Sick in the head, sick of body or sick of work?
Here’s what the ONS found this month.
The UK employment rate for July to September 2022 was 75.5%, largely unchanged on the previous quarter and 1.1 percentage points lower than before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (December 2019 to February 2020). Over the latest three-month period, the number of employees decreased, while self-employed workers increased.
The most timely estimate of payrolled employees for October 2022 shows another monthly increase, up 74,000 on the revised September 2022 figures, to a record 29.8 million.
The unemployment rate for July to September 2022 decreased by 0.2 percentage points on the quarter to 3.6%. The number of people unemployed for all duration categories decreased in the latest three-month period.
The economic inactivity rate increased by 0.2 percentage points on the quarter to 21.6% in July to September 2022. During the latest three-month period, the increase in economic inactivity was driven by those who are long-term sick, who increased to a record high. Our recent article looked at the economically inactive because of long-term sickness in more detail. It showed that over two-thirds of those becoming long-term sick in 2021 and 2022 were already economically inactive for another reason in the three months before interview.
In August to October 2022, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 46,000 on the quarter to 1,225,000. Despite four consecutive quarterly falls, the number of vacancies remain at historically high levels. An increasing number of businesses are now reporting holding back recruitment because of economic pressures.
Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 6.0% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 5.7% among employees in July to September 2022. This is the strongest growth in regular pay seen outside of the coronavirus pandemic period.
Average regular pay growth for the private sector was 6.6% in July to September 2022, and 2.2% for the public sector. Outside of the height of the coronavirus pandemic period, this is the largest growth seen for the private sector and the largest difference between the private sector and public sector.
In real terms (adjusted for inflation) over the year, total pay fell by 2.6% and regular pay fell by 2.7%. This is slightly smaller than the record fall in real regular pay we saw in April to June 2022 (3.0%), but remains among the largest falls in growth since comparable records began in 2001.