Jobs and pay continue to grow

Contrary to gloomy pundits the start of this year has brought more good news in the jobs market. 222,000 additional jobs were added in the last three months to end January, meaning more people with an income from employment to pay their bills and improve their lives. Pay sustained rises of 3.4%, usefully ahead of price inflation, so the average earner will have a bit more spending power as a result.

Now would be a  good time to reinforce these favourable trends. Given the growing weakness of the Euro area economy and the slowdown in China, it would be helpful if the government would tax a bit less and spend a bit more. The figures show higher tax receipts than planned. They also show continuing reductions in taxes like VED and Stamp Duty where the rates have been set too high to maximise the revenue, whilst damaging activity and putting people out of work in the affected areas.

All parties agree that the best way out of low income and poor living standards is to get a job, and the best way to get a decent job is to work up from a lower paid job. Good  employers help train an individual to realise their skill levels and therefore raise their pay. As unemployment is now quite low and as some employers are complaining they cannot attract the workers they need, it is even more imperative for companies to work with the people they have got. Value, them, train them, pay them better and get their productivity up. The UK is good at creating lots more jobs, but needs to get better at increasing productivity. The aim must be a higher  wage higher productivity economy.

Unemployment is now at a 40 year low and employment at a new high. 76% of all people of working age are in jobs.


  1. Stephen Priest
    March 20, 2019

    I thought unemployment was supposed to be 4 Billion and rising by now

    1. Hope
      March 20, 2019

      JR, explain to us ordinary souls why taxation is at its highest for fifty years yet our public services are dire? Explain why my council tax has been hiked by 4.9 plus add ons when it was hiked last year by 5 percent plus add ons. I am in r Copt of a bin collection once a fortnight and do not receive any other council service. Those that are provided are still rubbish and evidenced by inspectorate reports of the local authority!

      Javid failed in office and now Brokenshire has made no difference either. All they have done is break a Tory promise to cap council tax at 2 percent! May wants us to sell our homes in addition to her high taxation government, nothing has changed she says!

      Finally why all the apocalyptic warnings over the last three years by May and her propaganda pro remain team?

      1. a-tracy
        March 20, 2019

        Hope, you don’t only pay for bin services from the local council, you have to pay a contribution to the fire, police and crime commissioner, local street scene, local parks, housing benefit for others in your community (if you don’t you end up with people sleeping in your doorways).

        1. Hope
          March 20, 2019

          Police went up by 12.8 percent. The add ons are flood defence, adult social care which is already paid for by the existence of the Local authority and Environment Agency!

          This is how water bills were separated from Rate bills and now council tax bills. So water costs are an addition made by the Tories as well!

        2. graham1946
          March 20, 2019

          I think you will find that around half of what you pay does not buy any services, but the pensions of the employees. You may not be able to put enough away for your own pension, but you sure are providing nice ones for the employees.

        3. John Hatfield
          March 20, 2019

          Not to mention council pensions Tracy. But all the same, the rate of increase of council tax should not beat inflation.

        4. a-tracy
          March 21, 2019

          Hope, graham, John – absolutely agree the administration costs and office overheads and pensions of Council workers is a massive cost to the ratepayer, as is sick pay/’working’ from home days, extra holiday pay over basic levels and the rest. My local council have been wanting to leave the County authority offices and move to cheaper and presently empty offices in a building given to our Town by an old philanthropist/industrialist and they are being thwarted. The Council have also made grave errors with investment decisions that the ratepayers have then had to top up and on and on.

          1. Hope
            March 21, 2019

            I read one Tory MP website criticising his fellow conservative local authority for spending £7.5 million refurbishing the council offices that are worth £2.5 million!

  2. Everhopeful
    March 20, 2019

    Why does Stamp Duty remain so high?
    Apart from govt greed for revenue that is.
    I know a rural area which is being decimated by high house prices ( Stamp Duty on top of course).
    Empty shops for sale..houses being relisted time after time.
    Agenda 21 maybe?

    1. Everhopeful
      March 20, 2019

      I suppose that govt help to buy schemes keep house prices high?
      And house pricesHAVE to be kept high ( never mind us) because if they fell the economic meltdown would be like no other….ever!

      1. a-tracy
        March 20, 2019

        Every new build property in London rose by £100,000 the year help to buy was introduced with no caveats to the builders, they took all the profits for themselves. You could buy properties for £300,000 help to buy outpriced the next generation other than in part rent/part buy, controlled by the rental half owner over who they can sell to – its all going to cause a lot of upset soon enough.

  3. Mark B
    March 20, 2019

    Good morning

    And exactly how many of those are jobs over and above the minimum tax threshold ?

    As the government seems to be getting more in revenue, would it not be better if we spent and borrowed less ?

    Employers have always saidvthstvthey cannot find people. What they really mean is, we cannot find people for less money. What employers want is more people fightinģ for relatively fewer jobs so they can drive down wages and maximise profits. So I expect the immigration figures to continue to rise.

    The car and house market are still in s bubble but, it seems to be slowing which is good for long-term investment. Houses were I live are still selling to owner occupiers and very few to buy to let.

    MASS IMMIGRATION needs to be stopped. We need to plan for our future and that is in high tech and specialist engineering and design. For that we need a low personal income tax economy especially for higher earners. We also need an economy that is pro small business and export focused.

    Finally. As we may actually Leave the EU we need to look to new and emerging markets. These are in Asia and Africa.

    1. Dave Andrews
      March 20, 2019

      Employers would be only too happy to offer more money to employees. That means though they have to pass the cost onto their customers. In a global competitive market they can’t do that, hence wages remain low.

      1. libertarian
        March 21, 2019


        Wages have risen 3.6% in last quarter 1.6% over inflation

        We have massive skills shortages, employers are competing for workers

        The problem employers face is the non productive costs of business rates, taxes and duties various, pension contributions and worst of all inappropriate and costly interference from “government” with regulations, directives and other nonsense

        1. a-tracy
          March 21, 2019

          libertarian, you’ve got to wonder what savings the actual government are making when they automated lots of processes and passed the cost of digital input, monthly digital reporting, pension processing, tax reporting etc. onto all sizes of business. Each tax year end now the government no longer needs to process P14/P60 information or class1a returns did they make the same cost-saving (why are they not able to pass this on? They used to have to visit businesses to get to see information now it is all online this saves all the travel time has a saving been made?

          1. libertarian
            March 21, 2019


            Absolutely, we do most of the work AND pay more for the privilege , whilst politicians and public sector squander our money

    2. a-tracy
      March 20, 2019

      MarkB Andrew Neil tweeted this week that 96% of new jobs are full time, the national minimum wage 21-25 and the national living wage >25 ensures that full time workers >35 hours per week earn above the current tax threshold.

    3. libertarian
      March 21, 2019

      Mark B

      My yearly survey showed that the average salary in the UK for men and women combined was £29,009, which includes those in both full-time and part work. For those in full-time work, the average UK salary is £35,423 and £12,083 for those in part-time.

      Hope this helps

  4. oldtimer
    March 20, 2019

    The continued growth in employment is a surprise to me, but a good surprise. It will help cushion job shocks that will come from the slowdown that is now evident in many markets. The most obvious case is provided by the automotive industry which is experiencing a pronounced drop in sales coupled with a shift in mix of the types of vehicles being bought (from cars to SUVs) and huge regulatory uncertainty caused by governments promoting electrically powered vehicles. Announcements made in the UK reflect some of these drivers of change, which ministers appear to make a virtue of pushing through the tax system. They should be careful what they wish for.

    1. libertarian
      March 21, 2019


      There is no slowdown in jobs

      We currently have 800,000 unfilled full time jobs and will create another 660,000 next year

  5. Ian wragg
    March 20, 2019

    Taxes astronomically high my council tax rising 4.5% next year. Fuel bills up 5%. Absolutely no better off.
    Per capita is unchanged just an increase in the number of immigrants.
    The destruction of the legacy political parties has begun.

    1. Everhopeful
      March 20, 2019

      “Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.”
      ― Murray N. Rothbard

      I used to dismiss this as rubbish when my taxes were making my life good.
      Don’t question it now so much when I get no benefit whatsoever from my, as you say, ever increasing, legally enforced contributions.

  6. javelin
    March 20, 2019

    Barnier said yesterday the No deal preparations are all ready.

    Given the arrangements are reciprocal then the UK No deal preparations are also ready.

  7. Dame Rita webb
    March 20, 2019

    Ok there are lots of people with jobs these days however the quality of that “job” is not what it was. Unless they are working for the state, it is very unlikely that they will have access to a final salary pension and will be offered some inferior money purchase scheme instead. I doubt anyone starting their first “graduate” job these days will be offered private health care, a company car and luncheon vouchers as I did in the early 80s either.

    1. a-tracy
      March 20, 2019

      In the 1980s only approx 14% of people became graduates, now its 47%, around 14% of graduate jobs would have similar wages to yours still, often without company cars and private medical but with other benefit packages because the taxation benefits of those choices was removed.

      Everyone is living too long in final salary pension schemes , they only still exist in the public sector because future taxpayers pick up the shortfalls, including those with basic state pensions and tiny private pensions that get taxed.

    2. libertarian
      March 21, 2019

      Dame Rita Web

      Lol you are clueless

      Everyone now has a workplace pension, very few people in the private sector ever had a final salary pension, I offer company cars to my employees and lot dont take them because of the stupid tax laws. In the 21st century apprentices earn more than graduates as grads are 2 a penny

      Why not join us in the present instead of living in a fictitious past ?

  8. Dominic
    March 20, 2019

    Thank for the private sector not the Tory government. It is the productive that’s keeping this nation afloat.

    Curious that economic events are still favourable considering we are still a member of the EU. Does this mean being a member of the EU aids economic recovery? This is a question I saw posed yesterday on a local radio station. I nearly cried laughing

    Economic dynamism isn’t rocket science. Physical labour creates wealth. The harder we work the more we prosper.

    I am damn sure the State can prove a hindrance to such productive efforts as it tends to act to preserve its parasitic status serving to undermine our efforts

    (near ? ed)Marxist Labour will tip the scales towards massive intervention, even more than we see today. They will destroy all that they can to construct their Marxist client state and they’ll do it using our money

    We need to find a way of stopping Comrades Corbyn, McDonnell and McCluskey. If these (people ed) achieve power our prosperity and our freedoms will be wiped away

  9. Fedupsoutherner
    March 20, 2019

    We have to ask what quality these new jobs are. Unless the pay is good then the benefits bill will continue to rise.

  10. Peter Moore
    March 20, 2019

    “… imperative for companies to work with the people they have got. Value, them, train them, pay them better and get their productivity up”. Forgive me, please, for taking these words out of their initial context. Once I was an ignorant seafarer, ignorant, of course, of ‘management’. I had formed the feeling that it was about making work ‘as easy as possible to do well’ for one’s subordinates. But who was I, an uneducated (Leave?) lout. Later, I studied & got a BSc (Hons) & an OU dip in Mgmt Studies. (OU is considered top-20 in Brit Uni content excellence). I found I had to change NONE of those unworthy, ignorant, low-bred preconceptions; not one. Managers could learn this. It is a cost free route to an excellent work force.

  11. Peter Moore
    March 20, 2019

    “… imperative for companies to work with the people they have got. Value, them, train them, pay them better and get their productivity up”. Forgive me, please, for taking these words out of their initial context. Once I was an ignorant seafarer, ignorant, of course, of ‘management’. I had formed the feeling that it was about making work ‘as easy as possible to do well’ for one’s subordinates. But who was I, an uneducated (Leave?) lout. Later, I studied & got a BSc (Hons) & an OU dip in Mgmt Studies. (OU is considered top-20 in Brit Uni content excellence). I found I had to change NONE of those unworthy, ignorant, low-bred preconceptions; not one. Managers could learn this. It is a cost free route to an excellent work force.

    Will you PLEASE sort out that useless verification procedure!

  12. Julie Dyson
    March 20, 2019

    And to think it was all going to go to hell in a handbasket if we dared vote Leave… Why instead do I always still hear about that damned bus and £350m for the NHS, instead of the absolute torrent of Project Fear (which really should have been more accurately dubbed “Project BS”) to which we were subjected back in the day?

    Oh, yes, that wonderful “national institution’ of ours, the biased BBC. Just yesterday poor Mr. Patterson took the now-obligatory end seat on Politics Live, forced to face off against four (count ’em) ardent Remainers. All part of the Beeb’s campaign to make Average Joe believe that 80% of the country are now Remain: it surely must be, since they seem to have so much trouble finding Brexiteers for panel politics these days.

    I would dearly love to see all genuine Leavers completely boycott BBC politics, in protest… though I do have to wonder if that would even make the news or just play into their hands?

  13. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2019

    3.4 % does not go far. We had a 20% increase in insurance IPT tax, up 5% in council tax, probate tax, death certificate tax, the increases in workplace pension taxes, massive taxes of up to 15% if you move home, massive new taxes on landlords and tenants, pollution taxes, huge increases in government parking charges, greencrap artificially expensive energy, bans on gas heating and hobs …. meanwhile the NHS has the worst delays and rationing ever.

    But we do pay for £ billions for millions of worthless degrees from mainly second rate universities with soft loans. Most of which will never be repaid. Plus the absurd HS2 project and the burning of biofuels lunacy.

  14. The Prangwizard
    March 20, 2019

    Tax less of course but why is that linked always to spend a bit more – it’s beginning to have a virtue signalling ring to it.

    As for the employment figures, it would be churlish to complain but I do begin to wonder what everyone is doing. It’s easy to employ a new person to do the same old job in the same old way. We ought to be investing in new ways rather than importing people to a seriously overcrowded nation.

    There’s going to be a really serious problem when the next recession comes.

  15. John S
    March 20, 2019

    Tax a bit less and spend a bit less not more. There are too many non-jobs in the public sector.

  16. Caterpillar
    March 20, 2019

    Things to think about:
    1) comparison of marginal product per pound between labour and capital has been favouring labour given infinite reserve of immigrants and weak GBP for importing capital.
    2) Labour has option value as it is not always as specialised as capital and can be laid off compared with the sunk cost of most capital.
    3) during the 3 day weeks of the 70s, to save energy, other output did not fall much. Without any additional capital and only small innovation (no new tech) people got 5 days work done in 3 days (leisure time is not a bad thing to produce)
    4) Longstanding insufficient saving and investment (too much focus on consumption in reporting expenditure measure of GDP) has contributed to insufficient capital (Inc infrastructure) and an undoubted fundamental pension problem – focusing on the business cycle with monetary policy has clearly exacerbated this.

    Out the EU, UK needs to control unskilled immigration at least for some time, up infrastructure (HS2, HS3, east-west links, repaired roads …), Revamp health, education and policing, have fiscal (and eventually labour, UBI) policies that encourage saving and investment … basically set a clear direction of travel and sort out the policies to get there.

  17. Edwardm
    March 20, 2019

    The vast increase in employment is to be wholly welcomed, and I guess that is partly in anticipation of Brexit and the hope of future improvements to the business environment that will become possible under Phil Hammond’s successor.

    However from my own experience of being made redundant, employers are unwilling to interview and take on older workers, despite complaining about labour shortages. (And I do software/electronics/science)
    I suggest that recruiting employers must not be allowed to employ a foreigner if there are British people available with the skills, or could be trained up.

    We have a large enough population and should work within that number, other advanced countries with smaller populations manage to. It is also wrong to keep on taking in skilled people from other countries. We need to re-orientate what subjects are offered at universities towards more vocational subjects – at the moment we have much learning effort going to waste and many graduates have to take on poor unrelated jobs and are unable to pay back their loans in full – so ultimately it is very costly both for the country and the individual.
    Also overcrowding from mass immigration with consequent overloaded transport system and delays, housing shortage and high housing prices make for a poor environment and make reasonable aspirations difficult to achieve – its not what I want for our young people.

  18. Den
    March 20, 2019

    All good news for the workers but to the Europhiles they take no notice. Such pro-Brexit news to them is like the seeds in the Good Book, “Some fell on stony ground”. And to a leaver, the stony ground is Brussels where the EU is suffering from chronic desertification.

  19. ukretired123
    March 20, 2019

    Toyota is to build a new hybrid car next year in Derbyshire plus engines made in Deeside despite Brexit whilst over in Euroland news that Ford to slash over 5,000 jobs in Germany!
    No mention of this on BBC?

  20. Bryan Harris
    March 20, 2019

    “Unemployment is now at a 40 year low and employment at a new high. 76% of all people of working age are in jobs.”

    Question: How many unemployed drawing benefits – has that gone down?

  21. ChrisShalford
    March 20, 2019

    No wonder hardly anyone believes Project Fear Version 2.

  22. RichardM
    March 20, 2019

    Your statisctics are meaningless. Working just 1 hour in 2 weeks is classified as being employed. 4 Million ‘workers’ are living in poverty.

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