The key points comparing the three months to August 2015 with the three months to May were:
- Employment rose by 140,000. The number of employees was up 120,000, accompanied by a rise of 29,000 in self-employment
- The number of full-time employees was up 56,000
- The unemployment rate fell to 5.4%
- Average weekly earnings including bonuses rose by 3.0% compared with a year earlier; pay excluding bonuses was 2.8% higher.
The latest data shows that the labour market recovery got back on track in the three months to August following a moderate slowing in the previous two quarters. The quarterly increase in total employment of 140,000 was the largest since January – March and the increase in employees was the largest since February – April. A return to growth in full time employment and a fall in the unemployment rate also suggest that there is scope for further improvements in the coming months.
The widespread strength in the data released today is good news for the UK labour market. In the coming months we expect growth in the key indicators to remain healthy though below the exceptional rates seen in the first quarter of the year. The sustained strength in total earnings growth which has consolidated around the 3.0% mark coupled with deflation of 0.1% will continue to provide a boost to overall household spending.