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Employment in UK Increases but Strong Growth in Wages Elusive

Employment in UK Increases but Strong Growth in Wages Elusive

In the East of England the employment rate was 78.3%, the third highest rate in the United Kingdom and 0.1% higher than in October to December 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However the numbers claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and other unemployment benefits rose again last month in the West Midlands and nationally.

The ONS data found some tentative signs that the squeeze on household budgets could be easing as wages were estimated to have increased by 2.9 per cent in the quarter - faster than inflation for the first time in more than a year.

Per hour output was down by 0.5% on the quarter-on-quarter for the three months in March after a rise of 0.7% during the 2017 fourth quarter, which marked the largest drop since late in 2015 and hurt the hopes that productivity in Britain was returning to form.

In Telford and Wrekin, there were 80 more claimants, making its total 2,170. This represents one per cent of the workforce.

At the same time, earnings of employees including bonuses grew 2.6% from the previous year. The latest CPI inflation figure is 2.5 per cent.

The unemployment rate in the East fell by 0.3% to 3.9% in the December to March period. There are now 32.34 million people in work, an annual increase of 396,000, including 256,000 full-time jobs.

Scotland's overall employment rate stood at 74.7 per cent - lower than the UK's at 75.6 per cent.

Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said the employment growth was "still being driven by United Kingdom nationals, with a slight drop over the past year in the number of foreign workers. It's important to remember, though, that this isn't a measure of migration".

"Once more, we continue to outperform the United Kingdom on employment and unemployment rates for young people, with 55.6 per cent of young people in employment in Scotland compared to 54.1 per cent of young people in the United Kingdom".

Wages in the United Kingdom are rising faster than inflation figures released this morning show.

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