Experimental data indicates the labour market is cooling

A worker working in a logistics and distribution centre.

Responding to the new Labour market metric for October 2023 released by the Office for National Statistics, Ben Harrison, Director of the Work Foundation at Lancaster University said:

"Today’s new labour market data from the ONS seeks to address increased uncertainty around the accuracy of the Labour Force Survey, and so features experimental data derived from Pay as You Earn Real-Time Information and Claimant Count data.

“This makes direct comparisons with previous months challenging, but nevertheless the overall trend appears to show the labour market cooling as the post-Covid jobs recovery slows.

“Experimental data shows employment has fallen to 75.7% with unemployment rising to 4.2% and vacancies down for the 15th consecutive month. This points to a falling demand for workers which is likely to dampen pay growth in the coming months. Experimental estimates for economic inactivity suggest it has risen by 0.1% to 20.9% on the quarter.

“Policy-makers were already facing difficult decisions as we head towards the King’s Speech and Autumn Statement, but need access to the best quality data to make sure any changes in policy support workers and employers still struggling with the cost of living crisis.

“Even though there is uncertainty regarding elements of labour market data, the overall picture still underlines the importance of Government boosting skills training and providing more tailored support for jobseekers with different needs.”

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