The UK labor market surged in December despite Omicron, but inflation has outpaced wages.

The UK labor market grew rapidly in December, despite a surge in cases of COVID-19 associated with the Omicron variant and the UK government’s enforcement of “Plan B” restrictions. National Bureau of Statistics Shown on Tuesday.

Employers added a record 184,000 staff to their salaries in December, an increase of 409,000 to pre-pandemic February 2020 levels, bringing the total to 29.5 million employees in the UK.

“The latest Labor Force Survey estimates from September to November 2021 show that the unemployment rate is declining, while the employment rate is rising quarterly and the labor market is continuously recovering. “We are,” said ONS.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell 0.4 points to 4.1% in the three months to the end of November, approaching the 4% level seen in the previous quarter before the pandemic.

According to ONS, vacancies from October to December also reached a record high of 1,247,000, an increase of 462,000 from January-March 2020 levels before the pandemic, with the majority of industries setting record vacancies. Shows.

However, the vacancy rate continues to be sluggish, and from October to December, the vacancy rate per 100 employees reached a record high of 4.1%.

Employment statistics look promising, but wages for UK workers have fallen for the first time since July 2020. Concerns over a surge in inflation have risen, reaching a 10-year high of 5.1% in November.

According to ONS, average gross income including bonuses increased at an annual rate of 4.2% in November, and regular salary excluding bonuses increased by 3.8% among employees from September to November 2021. The high inflation impact level meant that most employees were no longer in their pockets.

Monthly growth in real average weekly income in November suffered the first decline since July 2020. Total wages were -0.9% and regular wages were -1.0%. That is, workers were struggling to reduce wage packets.

Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O’Grady commenting on the latest employment numbers Said in a statement: “It’s nice to see employment continue to grow, but when it comes to wages, it’s the same story that puts pressure on workers.

“Workers deserve a decent standard of living and wages that can raise a family. But instead, following two centuries of worse wage pressure, actual wages are declining and they We are currently facing a living cost crisis. “

O’Grady urges the UK government to urgently increase payment packets nationwide, and if that fails, families will have to choose between paying soaring invoices or putting food on the table. He added that he might notice that.

“The minister gives trade unions more power to enter the workplace and negotiate better wages and terms, give decent salary increases to workers in the public sector, and a minimum wage of up to £ 10 per hour. You need to get it right away, “said O’Grady.

But Britain’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, praised the latest figures as “evidence that the job market is thriving.”

“From training for young people to sector-based work academies for career changes, our work plans continue to create opportunities for everyone,” he said.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.