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MNI DATA IMPACT: UK Employment Soars; Wage Growth Stagnates>

By Laurie Laird and Irene Prihoda
     LONDON (MNI) - UK employment growth soared in the three months to 
November, drawing ever more women into the work force, but total 
earnings growth stagnated. 
     The following are the key points from the latest labour market data 
published on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics: 
     - Employment jumped by 208,000 in the latest period, taking the 
employment rate to a record-high 76.3%, even as the experimental 
single-month jobless rate increased to 4.0% from 3.5% in November. 
     - The strong jobs growth confounds expectations of the Bank of 
England's Monetary Policy Committee, which noted a "loosening" of labour 
market conditions at the November rate-setting meeting. 
     - The unemployment rate steadied at 3.8%, and was last lower in the 
final quarter of 1974. 
     - Nearly 150,000 of the new jobs were filled by women, while 
71,000 roles were created by self-employment. Self-employment has 
increased by 3.0% over the same period of 2018, far outpacing the 0.7% 
growth in salaried employees. 
     - The total number now classed as self-employed rose above 5 
million for the first time and is 15.2% of the total work force, also a 
record high. 
     - The new jobs were concentrated in relatively-low-paid service 
industries, particularly administrative, healthcare and educational 
roles. Average earnings growth steadied at 3.2%, well below the 3.9% 
pace recorded in the three months to July. 
     - However, falling inflation prevented a decline in total real 
earnings, which rose to an annual rate of 1.6% (including bonuses) from 
1.5% in the three months to October. 
     - Vacancies continued to decline in the three months to December, 
falling by 11,000 to 805,000, although the level of vacancies remains 
slightly above the 798,000 recorded in the three months to November. 
-London bureau: 44 (0) 203 865 3812; email: 

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