Unemployment fell by 27,000 in November to 900,000 compared to 927,000 prior month. The rate of unemployment also fell to 2.7% from 2.8% last month.
Compared to prior year, the number of people claiming benefits has fallen by 368,000.
If the trend persists into 2016, job centres will be closing in the Spring of 2017, there will be no one looking for work.
By Spring 2015, the claimant count will be at the same levels experienced in the first quarter of 2008. Earnings are rising and recruitment difficulties are increasing.
Vacancies in November, increased to 690,000 the highest level since March 2008. At a level of 692,000, this was the peak of the cycle pre-recession. The U:V ratio fell to 1.30, a level last seen in June 2008.
Earnings increased to 1.8% in October single month basis and to 1.6% on a three month average basis. Private sector pay increased by 2.2% and in business services and construction the increase was near 3%.
Unemployment LFS basis (October)
Unemployment LFS basis fell to 1.958 million in October and a rate of 6.0%. The number of people in employment increased to 30.8 million up from 30.2 million in the same period last year [0.6]. The number of employees has increased from 25.6 million to 26.0 million [0.4] and the number of self employed has increased from 4.3 to 4.5 million. Almost all the increase is explained by those working full time.
So what can we make of it all?
Vacancies are near an all time high compared to the pre-recession period. The U:V ratio is within 12% of the pre-recession peak and by Spring 2015, the claimant count will be at the same levels experienced in the first quarter of 2008. Earnings are rising and recruitment difficulties are increasing. Spare capacity will be extinguished by the middle of next year if not before. The oil price collapse will mask the inflation threat to the economy but with service sector inflation at 2.4% base rates will be on the rise by September 2015 at the latest.
“The latest release from the Office for National Statistics shows the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Greater Manchester fell in November by 3,660 to 38,125, the lowest since January 2005. The number of under-25s claiming fell by 1,380 to 7,535, the lowest since records began in 1985. Whilst these numbers are underestimating the number of people unemployed because Universal Credit claimants are not currently included in the statistics, the latest data continues to show that the region’s labour market is still improving, though the rate of reduction has slowed, perhaps indicating that the tightness in the labour market is beginning to show. This may place upward pressure on pay rates into the new year as employers are forced to compete ever more for the skilled labour they require. We expect that next month’s data for December will show a further sharp fall as seasonal hires for the Christmas period will be more visible at this time.”