Female unemployment at record low 'but no sign of pay rebound'

By Agencies
June 13, 2018

Female unemployment has fallen to a record low of 4.1 per cent but pay growth across the economy continues to disappoint, the Resolution Foundation said in response to the latest ONS labour market statistics.

Overall unemployment remained at 4.2 per cent, while employment remained at a record high of 75.6 per cent. Female unemployment has fallen to its lowest ever level of 4.1 per cent, while male unemployment is at 4.3 per cent.

Real earnings grew by 0.4 per cent off the back of easing inflationary pressures. The Foundation notes however that real average earnings remain £15 a week – or £780 a year – lower than they were a decade ago.

Prospects for a pay recovery remain fairly muted, with nominal pay growth yet to hit three per cent, let alone the 4.5 per cent average growth experienced in the decade running up to the financial crisis.

Public sector pay growth finally moved into positive territory (0.2 per cent growth) after a 16-month squeeze. Future prospects rest on pay settlements being reached in the coming months, alongside the recent NHS agreement.

Conor D’Arcy, Senior Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The UK jobs market has continued to impress in 2018, with employment remaining at a record high and female unemployment falling to its lowest ever level.

“But we’re yet to see the good news on jobs feed into wage pressure, with nominal pay growth still below three per cent.

“While the easing of inflationary pressures is helping pay packets to stretch that little bit further, there is still no sign of a long overdue pay rebound in Britain.”

Also commenting on the figures, Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton said: “The record rate of women’s employment is welcome, although the Office for National Statistics has pointed out that this is in part due to women retiring later. At the other end of the scale, young women are struggling to find work and make ends meet. 

“Young women tell us they want to work and be able to live independently but today’s figures show that nearly half a million are still out of work and full-time education – 11,000 more than this time last year. 

“Politicians must commit to improving young people’s prospects – or many will remain out of work and the economy will suffer. Young Women’s Trust is calling on the Government to give young women the right skills and support to find jobs, ensure decent and flexible jobs are available, and extend the National Living Wage to under-25s, so they are paid the same amount for the same work.” 

* Resolution Foundation https://www.resolutionfoundation.org/

* Young Women's Trust https://www.youngwomenstrust.org/

[Ekk/6]

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