Employment and overall wages hit record highs
In November, Britain saw the largest rise in overall real wages since September 2016, rising the spending power of the average British worker to the highest it has been in two years.
The dramatic increase in spending power as of November last year, has been attributed to average wages, which rose by 3.3 per cent, and inflation, which fell to 2.3 per cent.
Real wages declined throughout 2017 into the beginning of 2018 so companies are showing great optimism in light of these recent numbers. The Trades Union Congress, however, warn that this peak won’t truly be noticed by employees, who are still suffering from “the longest pay squeeze in 200 years.”
Employment has also hit a record high with 32.54 million people in jobs as of November, according to the Office of National Statistics. That’s 75.8 per cent of working-age members of the public employed, the highest since 1971 when this data began being recorded.
There’s also good news for unemployment rates which are at their lowest level since 1975 – four per cent. Job vacancies were also up, as of November, as 100,000 people joined the job market.
While the data appears positive, experts in the industry say that self-employment is responsible for the huge rise in employment, with 93,000 people registering themselves as self-employed in the three months leading up to November.
It is believed that this rise in self-employment is due to economic uncertainties, where companies are choosing to pay self-employed contractors or freelancers to complete jobs for them, rather than take on more full time staff.