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MNI DATA IMPACT: UK Employment At Record High, Wages Stall>

By Laurie Laird and Irene Prihoda
     LONDON (MNI) - UK wage growth slowed markedly in the three months 
to December, despite a larger-than-expected increase in employment, with 
women continuing to account for a majority of new jobs created. 
The following are the key points from the release: 
     - Total wage growth slowed to 2.9% in the October-December period, 
from 3.2% in the three months to November, while ex-bonus pay 
accelerated by 3.2%, down from 3.4%. That's the slowest pace on both 
measures since the three months to August 2018.
     - Total pay growth has been trending lower since peaking at an 
annual rate of 4.0% at mid-year. Adjusting for inflation, total pay 
slipped to an annual rate of 1.4%, the slowest growth since the three 
months to April. 
     - But employment jumped by 180,000, beating the consensus forecast 
by a healthy margin, with 150,000 of those news jobs filled by women. 
Women now account for a joint record-high 47.4% of all employment. 
     - Self-employment increased by 71,000 in the fourth quarter, taking 
the proportion of those self-employed to a record high 15.3% of all 
     - The data are consistent with Bank of England concerns that robust 
job growth over the past year is concentrated in lower-paying roles, a 
move likely to be boosted by upcoming increases in the national living 
     - Public sector wages rose by 3.3% in the fourth quarter, 
outpacing private sector wage growth (+2.7%) for the second consecutive 
three-month period.
     - Productivity rose for the second straight month, albeit at a 
modest rate, with output per hour increasing by 0.3% over Q4 of 2019, 
extending a 0.1% rise in Q3. That follows four straight quarters of 
     - Vacancies rose 7,000 on the previous three-month period to 
810,000, but are still 50,000 below the year ago level. Most vacancies 
are in education, transportation and storage and lesuire industries, 
with the least number of vacancies seen in the science sector.
-London bureau: 44 (0) 203 865 3812; email: 

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