Pay freezes and record vacancy figures for the UK in terms of employment today


According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of vacancies has fallen for the seventeenth consecutive period in the UK – the longest quarterly decline the country has ever recorded.

According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, the amount of available jobs in September 2023 was estimated at 36.8 million, an increase of more than 200,000 from June 2023 and a return to pre-pandemic levels.

Not all good news

However, the update has also sparked concern across the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed worrying trends in the country’s labor market, indicating a significant slowdown in pay growth and a decrease in job vacancies. These developments point to a stagnant economy and raise questions about the future of the UK’s workforce and economic stability.

According to the ONS report, there was a sharp decline in average earnings growth, which fell from 8% to 7.2% in the three months to October. This reduction exceeds financial market expectations, indicating a more severe economic slowdown than expected. At the same time, the number of job vacancies saw a notable decline, falling from 45,000 to 949,000 during a period of stagnant growth.

Our labor market data continues to show a largely unchanged picture, with the proportions of people employed, unemployed or not working or looking for work all little changed compared to previous quarters. While annual earnings growth remains strong in terms of cash, there are some signs that wage pressure may be easing overall.”

BoE and UK payroll data

However, the most important data is probably the ONS payroll data, also published today. Ahead of its next interest rate announcement due this week, the Bank of England will no doubt be watching UK residents’ cost-of-living metrics as closely as its employment data.

The growth rate of average pay fell again in November 2023 to 5.3%, down from 6.2% in October and 5.9% in September, managing to remain virtually unchanged year-on-year compared to data from the 5.4% in November 2021.

This combined with the alarming average earnings growth figures has critical implications for the Bank of England, which closely monitors wage rises as an indicator of inflationary pressures within the economy.

Current data, however, suggests a potential easing of concerns about a wage-price spiral, a situation in which rising wages lead to rising prices, thus fueling further wage demands.

More strikes in sight?

At the same time, with disappointing pay rise data, there could be problems with further strikes in the UK.

The Trade Union Congress said in a statement on December 9 that “longer and more frequent strikes” await.

This article is originally published on


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