Labour Market Stats March 2017

The latest labour market statistics show a large rise in employment and a fall in unemployment (with the rate down to 4.7%). The big gain has come from full-time self-employment – a rise of some 94,000 on the quarter – perpetuating the apparent ascendancy of the gig economy.

Over the last quarter of 2016 there was a large rise in employment in construction – some 36,000 new jobs in this sector. The fall in unemployment is patchy across regions, with the latest regional data indicating increases in both London and the West Midlands.

Increases in total pay, however, continue to moderate, with the three month average now growing at an annual rate of 2.2% (down from 2.6% last month). Specifically in construction, the rate of growth has collapsed, and this may be an early sign that the employment growth in that sector may not last.