UK employers create record number of jobs as unemployment falls

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The wider unemployment rate, for the three months to the end of November, fell to 4.1 per cent, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Tuesday, below economists' forecasts in a Reuters survey, suggesting it remained at 4.2 per cent and at its lowest level since June 2020.

British employers added a record 184.000 on their payrolls in December, showing little reaction to the coronavirus strain, while job openings peaked, potentially adding to the Bank of England's inflation concerns.

'Today's figures are proof that the jobs market is thriving, with employee numbers rising to record levels, and redundancy notifications at their lowest levels since 2006 in December,' the UK' s finance minister Rishi Sunak said.

Concern about potential labour shortages and medium-term wage pressure was a primary reason for the Bank of England last month to increase interest rates for the first time since the pandemic began.

Financial markets expect the BoE to raise rates again on February 3 following its next meeting in more than 80% chance.

The UK labour market developed more sharply than the BoE expected at the end of last year as unemployment fell despite a government employment subsidy scheme providing support to more than a million workers expired in September.