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Labour Market ends 2016 on a high

Commenting on today’s ONS Labour Market Statistics, Mark Beatson, Chief Economist at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, says:

"Today’s statistics suggest that job growth in the UK has well and truly recovered, following what seemed to be a pause earlier in the year. Employment has increased by half a million and it’s encouraging to see the unemployment rate continuing to fall. It now stands at 5.2%, which is below the level that many commentators had regarded as sustainable. But wage growth remains subdued, and this makes it less likely that we will see interest rates increase during 2016.

"With very low inflation, the average pay packet is still increasing in real terms, but this will only be sustainable if productivity increases. This will require organisations to invest in technology, new systems and their workforce.

"Also, the latest figures for public sector employment show that it fell by just 12,000 in the three months to September. With the Spending Review likely to require far fewer job cuts than anticipated, public sector employers might find the coming months less challenging than feared, even if the 1% pay ceiling does affect their ability to recruit and retain key staff."