The ONS’s latest labour market data saw employment rising, with unemployment remaining low.
The employment rate remains close to a record high, with employment growth similar to the relatively strong rates seen over most of 2017.
The unemployment rate ticked up slightly and stands now at 4.1%. In the three months to September 2018, the ratio of unemployed people per vacancy was at a historic low of 1.6% which highlights the growing challenges companies face when hiring workers.
Figures on UK employment by nationality show a record annual drop of 132 thousand in EU nationals. Although the number of non-EU nationals has risen on the year, the 34 thousand rise does not fully plug the gap left by EU nationals.
Pay growth has edged higher once again and is the strongest it has been in a decade but still weak relative to pre-crisis norms.
Pay growth also remains constrained by subdued UK productivity growth. As the ONS’s flash estimate of productivity growth in the months to September showed—output per hour worked decline by 0.4% over the quarter, following a rise of 0.5% in the three months to June.
Across the UK, regions and nations have seen a mixed picture in employment levels and little change in unemployment levels.