More jobs, rising wages and lower inflation

In the last three months the UK generated another 168,000 additional jobs. There are now 816,000 vacancies which is good news for those who are still out of work. Unemployment is at 4.3%, well below Euro area levels. Inflation on the government’s preferred measure CPI(H) fell to 2.5% whilst wages rose by 2.8% over the last year. Since the vote jobs are well up, pay is up, and the economy continues to expand. So much for the post vote recession they told us we should expect.


  1. Denis Cooper
    March 21, 2018

    In this article the IFS lazily and incorrectly implies that the depreciation of sterling after the EU referendum has caused CPI to rise by 2%:

    “… the estimated 2% increase in prices that followed the depreciation in sterling in the wake of the referendum result.”

    It is only necessary to look at the five year chart here:

    to see that CPI was close to zero for much of 2015 but started to rise during the autumn of that year, and if that pre-existing rising trend had just continued after the EU referendum then CPI would probably have peaked at around 2% rather than 3%; in other words only about 1%, not 2%, of the rise was connected to the referendum result.

    However there is a greater point of interest in the article:

    “The report says that average tariffs applied to UK imports as part of the EU’s customs union are around 2.8%.”

    And if that same 2.8% was applied to the UK’s exports to the EU after we had left then it would be a fraction of the tariffs which were being applied to our exports before we joined the EEC, almost all the gain we got from that may be considered as locked in.

    1. Hope
      March 21, 2018

      MPs are paid by RPI increases to their pensions while reducing everyone else to CPI, why? My council tax bill is way over inflation, why? My community tax bill has add ons for adult social care and two for flood defense, the Environment Agency also cost £1.5 billion why am I paying tax numerous times for the same thing and expecte to sell my house for any adult social care.

      I note in the humiliating capitulation to date that May and Davis are trying to spin they have achieved something. Could you tell us what the UK has got from the capitulation so far? Gove stated yesterday the prize to come. What prize that we could not get from WTO and no concessions or give aways to the EU?

      No control over borders, laws, courts, money, fishing stocks or waters. Many professional commentating this is a humiliating capitulation.

      Is it correct May will continue to pay £3.75 billion to the European Development Fund (EDF equals overseas aid) when we leave? Not shown on DFEDs accounts. The U.K. Contribution towards Eurasmus is about £1.75 billion, only 9,000 students take part. Not value for money. There has been no legal or any other justification for the £100 billion to talk about trade, when will get the detail of t deal as promised by May?

      In December May was prepared to underhandly annex or give away N.Ireland until caught out by the DUP. She is now trying to backtrack to sound strong and stable! Is the border with Ireland going to be used to keep the U.K. tied to the EU forever as a vassal state without a voice and stop the U.K. being more competitive than the EU in any trade deal it embarks upon?

      May has failed on everything she promised to deliver and all her red lines. She has also failed the majority of her Lancaster speech. When can we expect her to be ousted?

      Why is May determined to unconditionally give aways contribute towards EU defense and security? Why has no civil servant been sacked or investigated yet?

      Overwhelmingly this is a massively bad deal why is it continuing?

  2. Eh?
    March 21, 2018

    The BoE Governor Mr Carney was “surprised” . He is “surprised” every time he opens his mouth. Who is it who hides behind a cupboard ongoing from 23rd june 2016, jumps out just when he is about to speak and shivers his timbers? Who? Stop fooling around!

  3. Narrow shoulders
    March 21, 2018

    I hate to contradict but these numbers have all come about while your government has negotiated to remain within the control of the EU.

    Business can now confidently plan for little change and so the numbers are where they are.

    I expected short term pain when we left to be countered by long term gain once we found our feet again on the world stage. Your government and many other sin Parliament have ensured this does not happen.


    1. Narrow Shoulders
      March 22, 2018

      At few stages since the referendum has it looked as though we will actually disengage from this organisation so business has continued as normal.

      Rather than deriding the doom foreseeing forecasts for being totally incorrect we should be focusing on the politicians and others who will not let us exit the EU.

      Then let us see where the chips fall, countries, business and people are highly adaptable.

  4. margaret
    March 21, 2018

    I remember, whilst looking for jobs and having many interviews , then following up to see who had got the jobs, that many posts were deliberately left open, with the remarks that no one was suitable . This was when most candidates were suitable and probably more qualified than those conducting the interviews.

    1. libertarian
      March 22, 2018


      Total cobblers.

      We have massive skills shortage and our education system no longer produces enough people with the right attitude and soft skills to work.

      Give one ( no matter how mad ) reason that a firm would deliberately not fill a staff vacancy …. lol

      1. margaret
        March 23, 2018

        Mr Naïve libertarian: I have been there . You keep your cobblers to yourself. Hundreds of NHS workers were forced to go out of the Country .Are you talking about factories? The vacancies in the NHS were left open to keep the outgoings down.

    2. Epikouros
      March 22, 2018

      There maybe some truth in that statement but generally more truthful would be that progressives and the left have been allowed nay encouraged to so debase our educational system and moral compasses that finding suitable employees is becoming more difficult.

      1. margaret
        March 23, 2018

        Then the socialists should not have refused to employ our senior skilled people and get cheap alternatives from abroad. Doctors and Nurses were all ready to take up senior roles due to experience and academic updates, then juniors were brought in , not experienced and given roles above their expertise. It takes experience to run a system quickly and efficiently . Plod alongs were employed where language difficulties, nuances of language, a slow demeanour had been their experience The young may be the future , but they still have to learn from the same mistakes the experienced have already learnt from and we have to endure their mistakes again and again .

  5. Prigger
    March 21, 2018

    In the last three months the UK generated another 168,000 additional jobs. 4.3% unemployment
    U.S. added 313,000 Jobs in February alone. Unemployment 4.1%

    EU unemployment rate according to their own statistics is 8.6% with estimates that 17.931 million men and women in the EU-28.are without a job.

    #Which means of course that the total number of unemployed ADULT workers in the EU is greater than the number of men, women and children, in total of combined populations of Ireland,Scotland,Wales,Juncker’s Luxembourg,Latvia and Estonia.

    I do not have the figures for job creation in the EU but it seems they have several counties- worth to go. What an economical disaster is the EU!!!!What devastating misery !

    The Labour Party says it cares for workers rights. Good. But first. Have workers!!!!!!!

  6. jerry
    March 21, 2018

    “Inflation on the government’s preferred measure CPI(H) fell to 2.5% whilst wages rose by 2.8% over the last year.”

    Wow, so real world wages rose a whopping 0.4%….

    1. Epikouros
      March 22, 2018

      If productivity increases are commensurate with receiving wage increases greater than 0.4% then your disgust is valid. If not then you are being unreasonable and want something for nothing, a common enough expectation that leads to demands of entitlements and privileges that have not been earned. The end result being that we end up with nothing or at best less or at least our progeny do(still lets not worry about them let’s take what we can now and let the future look after itself).

      1. jerry
        March 22, 2018

        @Epikouros; Well the same could be said about any wage/salary increase, ‘end-of-year’ bonus or even shareholders dividends if not paid for by real world productivity increases, rather than smoke and mirrors accounting…

        1. libertarian
          March 23, 2018


          Two things. One reason for the low rate and slow growth of wages ( in a market drastically short of skills , i.e. demand exceeds supply) is as I warned at the time introducing a national minimum wage has proved really bad for low wage workers. It has set a benchmark against which employers dont see the need to compete on wages at the bottom end. ( If you remove low wage workers from the stats wage settlements are at a 4 year high )

          Two, your point about dividends doesn’t make sense. In order to pay dividends you need to make a profit , you are seriously claiming that accountants will inflate profits ( by smoke and mirrors) ? That would be profits they then have to pay corporation tax on ….. really ?

          1. jerry
            March 23, 2018

            @libertarian; “[the NMW] set a benchmark against which employers dont see the need to compete on wages at the bottom end.”

            The national minimum wage has not stopped companies from competing on wages at all, it’s a minimum, not the maximum, any company is free to pay more!

            “In order to pay dividends you need to make a profit”

            Recent corporate events suggest otherwise, if the reports are true, but perhaps you would care to repeat your assertion under oath in front of one of the Parliamentary Select Committees…

      2. acorn
        March 22, 2018

        Wages were disconnected from productivity when the UK adopted the Neoliberal ideology with the start of the Thatcher – Reagan era. The last three and a half decades of economic data prove it undeniable.

  7. Adam
    March 21, 2018

    Margaret Thatcher’s ethos was that individuals should assess for themselves what is right, & proceed accordingly, undaunted. Enough of our citizens think for themselves, & thought better for Brexit. They disregarded the gloomy doom predictions of others, whose expertise does reveal itself as qualified, yet in bad guesses.

    The way ahead glows with opportunity. Theresa May, & MPs leading our Govt, steer the nation straight toward better.

  8. L Jones
    March 21, 2018

    And can we expect this absurd ”transition” period to affect all that good news? Since our country is doing so well, despite our negotiators offering to give away all they possibly can to appease the execrable EU – then why, for goodness’ sake, do we NEED this ”transition”?

    Well – we don’t, do we?

  9. Lifelogic
    March 21, 2018

    And this despite the absurd over taxation, over regulation, daft employment laws, expensive religious energy and endless waste from this socialist government. Plus the very real threat of “let’s be another Venezuella” Corbyn/Mc Donnall. Imagine how well we could do with a sensible government.

  10. StanleyW
    March 21, 2018

    Despite the rosy picture painted here there are some glaring downsides to our situation today like the huge national debt on the country and the huge budget deficit we continue to live with..then there is the shortage of housing, both public and private, and the overcrowding of the hosputals and NHS waiting times. With saying this we also have to recognize the large number of zero contract low paying jobs in the country are especially filled by young people who cannot plan for their future, so we are well on our way in the race to the bottom- and we are not even into the post brexit period yet?

    So I don’t know how we can be any way upbeat about our place at the moment especially when we see the bones of the transition deal with the EU that the goernment is agreeing to..what comes to mind are the things we still have not recovered, taki g back control of, like our fisheries..and then what about our financial servicesn into the future..not one word in the text about this?..No.. unlike JR i’d much prefer to hold my say on things until January 2021, when we can see how things really are

  11. NigelE
    March 21, 2018

    And CPI (which used to be the Govt’s preferred measure) is at 2.7%.

    RPI (my preferred measure) remains higher at 3.6%.

    More smoke & mirrors …

    1. John Finn
      March 21, 2018

      I prefer CPIH which is 2.5%

  12. Denis Cooper
    March 21, 2018

    Off-topic, Northern Ireland questions in the Commons this morning:

    Labour’s Owen Smith comes out with the truth which his party has been keeping under wraps until recent days, when they have started to gradually let it come out.

    “Should he not … tell the House that the only way to avoid a hard border is for us to stay within the customs union and the single market?”

    Note that this not just about a/the customs union with the EU, because that would not be enough, it is also about the EU Single Market.

    1. Hope
      March 21, 2018

      It appears from Tusk’s remarks today that a deal has been reached on the border. I think this is a drip by drip charade of a cave in by May to humiliate our country. May in parliament answering question on fishing avoided saying what quotas there would be in the end only that the UK would regain control over its waters. She forgets she said this before and was meant to take place in March 2019 and has not said why she, once again, broke her word. You cannot beleive a word she says. Clogged and Odonis in Ireland today to add their five penneth.

      It is an utter bewilderment why parliament is filled with so many treacherous people who want our country to be subservient to a foreign body.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 22, 2018

        It would be more puzzling if there hadn’t been systematic selection pressure in favour of supporters of European political unification steadily working away on our political class for nearly six decades. And the civil service, as well.

  13. Edward2
    March 21, 2018

    Despite several failed reports by leading research bodies the very same ones are now predicting doom but further in the future.
    Amazingly one claiming it can predict 15 years into the future.
    One done for the CBI predicted an extra million unemployment.
    Gullible remainers and the MSM latch onto these doomsayers reports with glee.
    I think apologies are required from them.
    Not just wrong but 100% wrong.

  14. ale bro
    March 21, 2018

    This is welcome economic news.

    But what it really means is that BoE is free to maintain a tightening bias.

    1. Epikouros
      March 22, 2018

      The price paid when government agencies, politicians and vested interests manipulate something to perform differently is that it creates anomalies that at some future date have to be addressed. The effect of doing so reverses the performance or more likely creates performances worse than those that the manipulation was employed to change in the first place.

  15. Wait and see
    March 21, 2018

    In the envisaged Transition/Implementation period paradoxically no transition and no implementation takes place.Just a freeze on transitioning and a freeze on implementation for two years after our leaving date end of March 2019. Do we then need a real transition period and a real implementation period which transitions and implements. Just how are companies supposed to make changes in the two years when all existing rules and regulation are frozen stiff. Theresa May is trying to icicle us by the backdoor.Ouch!

    1. Epikouros
      March 22, 2018

      Indeed a transition period normally involves putting in place the new policies, practices and procedures adjusting them where necessary so as to to avoid chaos and confusion on the day that they become fully implemented and functional. No the transition that has be agreed at the behest of the EU is for their benefit not ours.

  16. hans chr iversen
    March 21, 2018

    Getting as angry in Parliament as you did, virtually yelling on the transition deal, the government came back with.

    Does that serve your purpose and cause any better?

  17. Anonymous
    March 21, 2018

    There is no excuse to be out of work in London. None whatsoever.

    1. Epikouros
      March 22, 2018

      With the current Mayor there is every excuse not to want to live there.

  18. eeyore
    March 21, 2018

    In Greece youth unemployment is 43.7%, in Spain 36% and in Italy 31.5%. Those who care about their children’s future should thank their stars they live in Brexit Britain.

  19. Rien Huizer
    March 21, 2018

    As you can see, there appears to be hope among employers and employees that there will not be a hard brexit.

    1. Dusty Hopmister
      March 21, 2018

      And your evidence that employers and employees having “hope” for a soft brexit when only partisan political activists have a clue what could hard or soft brexit entails? It’s like talking with a sensible expression about hard and soft feather dusters when teaching swimming. Silly.

    2. Edward2
      March 21, 2018

      Or a realisation that leaving will not be the doomsday scenario that remain supporters have tried to suggest using Project Fear

    3. Epikouros
      March 22, 2018

      That is one interpretation. Another could be that a hard brexit as you call it( I would call it breaking free from the hard tyrannical embrace of the EU with all its restrictive practices, protectionism and dysfunctional and impractical policies and practices and litany of crises) will bring far more economic and commercial benefits as there will ever be remaining as a member. UK employers and employees being more rational and less blinded than remainers by the EU’s propaganda are preparing ahead of Brexit, hoping that it will be hard, to take commercial advantage now ready for post Brexit.

    4. libertarian
      March 22, 2018


      “As you can see, there appears to be hope among employers and employees that there will not be a hard brexit.”

      Oh stop talking nonsense . Less than 5 % of UK businesses trade with EU countries. Brexit hard, soft or flaccid makes no difference . You, the EU, the UK government nor the Conservative party has a clue why all these jobs are being created. By the way theres another 1.4 million new jobs in the pipeline over the next 18 months

  20. LukeM
    March 21, 2018

    Let’s get something straight..we don’t have an exclusive economic is the EU exclusive economic zone..what part of it we are going to get for fishing rights has yet to be negotiated

  21. derek
    March 21, 2018

    Horror!! This cannot be true. Those fear mongers from Team Remain cannot be wrong can they?

  22. JJE
    March 21, 2018

    On the other hand discretionary spending is under a lot of pressure and the restaurant and high street retail sectors are struggling badly. House prices are falling and fewer people are moving thanks in part to the excessive stamp duty tax.
    Business is leaving the UK as is capital, scared of a Corbyn Government. Growth is lagging well behind other countries. We are being lifted by a rising global tide, but by less than other nations. And the balance of payments deficit is still dreadful.
    My cup is only a quarter full.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      March 21, 2018

      We’re not really being lifted per capita. We could import 100 million Chinese and probably thereby create 100 million more jobs and increase our GDP by several percent in one foul swoop, but is that what we really want?

  23. John
    March 21, 2018

    Its just good news all round. That’s not even mentioning the huge increase in share prices the day after the vote added a Brexit bonus to peoples pension and saving funds.

    We need mechanisation of our agricultural industry. That won’t happen unless there are increased restrictions on cheap Eastern European labour. Investment in expensive harvesting machines needs certainty that cheap manual labour will be curtailed.

  24. Norman
    March 21, 2018

    Sorry this is off topic, but I believe its important to say: I remain concerned at the anti-Russian rhetoric coming out of the mouths of people who should know better. Whatever the Russians are up to, I cannot see any purpose in political bear-baiting. This ignorant, childish behaviour reflects very badly on our country. I’m not impressed, and certainly the rest of the world and the Russians aren’t. Very disappointed in Williamson and Johnson. Where have all the statesmen gone? Westminster, please grow up!

    1. Norman
      March 22, 2018

      ‘Totally irresponsible’ – I’m afraid I agree with the Russian Ambassador! The Governments lack of diplomacy beggars belief – this is also a gift to Mr Corbyn!

      1. Miss Brandreth-Jones
        March 23, 2018

        Totally agree. the supposed states people should think before they speak.There is no sense of diplomatic training . It is child’s stuff playing with relationships that could cause years of stress and hardship for all.

  25. margaret howard
    March 22, 2018


    “In Greece youth unemployment is 43.7%, in Spain 36% and in Italy 31.5%. Those who care about their children’s future should thank their stars they live in Brexit Britain”

    Unlike Britain they don’t include their students as employed people.

    We provide:
    Mcjobs, minimum wages, no job security, no pensions and students used as unpaid interns – a return to the 1930’s while the rich at the top are getting tax cuts.

    1. Jagman84
      March 22, 2018

      The ‘rich’, in general, are paying more tax than before. However, it is a smaller percentage of their income than previously. So not really a cut at all is it? Except in the minds of deluded Socialists.

    2. libertarian
      March 23, 2018

      margaret howard

      Total and utter nonsense

      1) Students are NOT included as employed people

      2) All jobs in the UK have workplace pensions as a legal requirement , even zero hour, part time & flexible work

      3) Less than 8% of UK workforce is earning on or below the living wage

      4) 34% of ALL zero hour contracts are undertaken and paid by full time students earning extra money while studying

      5) There are currently 816,000 unfilled full time job vacancies in the UK

      The general ignorance of the population about the jobs market in the UK is astounding

  26. Lindsay McDougall
    March 22, 2018

    CPI is a relatively narrow measure of inflation. What is the inflation rate in goods, assets and services not covered by CPI. I’ll wager it is higher.

  27. Christine
    March 22, 2018

    It all depends on the quality of these new jobs. If they are low paid jobs subsidised by Tax Credits then they are of no benefit to the country. For too long this country has sucked in cheap labour for the benefit of businesses at the expense of the British tax payer in respect of both money and public services.

  28. miami.mode
    March 22, 2018

    To assist employment in a poorer area it would help if the future British blue passports were to be made in a factory in Gateshead owned and run by a British company. It is reported today that they may be manufactured abroad although the exact details are the usual obfuscation…..and some wonder why the North East voted overwhelmingly for Brexit!

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