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UK employment data - "Britain's job creation boom is running on empty, but refuses to stall" - reaction from Indeed economist

Tara Sinclair, economist and senior fellow at the global job site Indeed, comments:

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“Britain’s job creation boom is running on empty - and yet it refuses to stall.

“For years it has successfully piled on more jobs and tempted ever more people to join the workforce.

“But the fuel on which the labour market runs - people wanting to get into work - is getting scarcer. So it’s both impressive and surprising that it is still managing to meet the demands of the economy’s job creation engine.

“Unemployment and the inactivity rate are at their lowest levels for more than four decades, and the employment rate is still marching upwards, leaving unanswered the question economists have been asking for months - how high can it go?

“The other great mystery is why such a tight labour market is not delivering faster wage growth. The gains made earlier this year are gradually being lost, and the average Briton’s wage packet is once again barely outpacing inflation.

“With employers having to fight hard for every recruit, wages should be rising as recruiters battle for talent. But 2018’s modest acceleration in wage growth comes after years of pay stagnation, and British salary growth was the lowest in the G7 over the past decade.

“Nevertheless the abundance of jobs continues to make the UK attractive to foreign workers, and yesterday the ONS confirmed that net migration into the UK stabilised in 2017.

“Despite the disappointing fall in the pace of wage growth, Britain’s labour market remains in generally rude health.”

About Tara Sinclair

Tara Sinclair is an associate professor of economics and international affairs at the George Washington University and a senior fellow of the Indeed Hiring Lab. She has a PhD in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and her research focuses on modeling, explaining, and forecasting trends in the labour market and other macroeconomic variables both in the UK and worldwide. For the Hiring Lab, Tara is working on research projects using Indeed’s unique data to develop new insights into the labour market.