Labour Market Outlook – January 2023

Jobs Outlook

January 18, 2023

Whilst the UK economy is facing challenges, the labour market continues to show resilience. The UK employment rate was estimated at 75.6% in September to November 2022, largely unchanged compared with the previous three-month period and 1.0 percentage points lower than before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (December 2019 to February 2020).

The unemployment rate for September to November 2022 increased by 0.2 percentage points on the quarter to 3.7%. In the latest three-month period, the number of people unemployed for up to six months increased, driven by those aged 16 to 24 years. Those unemployed for over six and up to 12 months increased, while those unemployed for over 12 months decreased in the recent period.

The most timely estimate of payrolled employees for December 2022 shows another monthly increase, up 28,000 on the revised November 2022 figures, to 29.9 million.

The number of vacancies in October to December 2022 was 1,161,000, a decrease of 75,000 from July to September 2022. Despite six consecutive quarterly falls, the number of vacancies remains at historically high levels.

The redundancy rate has increased to 3.4 per thousand employees in September to November 2022 but remains low.

Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) and regular pay (excluding bonuses) among employees was the same at 6.4% in September to November 2022; for regular pay, this is the strongest growth rate seen outside of the coronavirus pandemic period. Average regular pay growth for the private sector was 7.2% in September to November 2022, and 3.3% for the public sector. Outside of the height of the coronavirus pandemic period, this is the largest growth rate seen for the private sector.

In real terms (adjusted for inflation) over the year, total and regular pay both fell by 2.6%. This is slightly smaller than the record fall in real regular pay we saw in April to June 2022 (3.0%), but still remains among the largest falls in growth since comparable records began in 2001.

Data Reference: ONS Labour Market Overview January 2023