2. Employment

The number of people in full-time employment has continued to grow since 2013 but average weekly real earnings have still not recovered to their pre-economic crash levels. In other words, weekly earnings today buy less than they did more than a decade ago. 

2.1  Unemployment continues to decline and remains at lower levels than before the economic crash of 2008/9. But, in 2019, there are still 1.3 million people out of work who are available for, and actively seeking, a job. Nearly 350,000 of those 1.3 million have been in this position for a year or longer.

Source: ONS

Source: ONS (January figures taken)

2.2  Taking 2006 as a baseline, the number of people in full-time employment has continued to grow, at pace, since 2013. This reverses the decline in full-time employment seen between 2009 and 2013. Self-employment and part-time work continue to grow but not at the same pace as full-time employment.

2.3  Since 2011, there has been a particularly significant increase in the percentage of women aged 60-64 who are in employment, no doubt due in large part to changes in the state pension age for this group taking place from 2010.

Source: ONS

Source: ONS

2.4  The rapid growth in zero hour contracts, witnessed since 2012, has now stabilised at nearly 1 million people on such contracts.

2.5  Over the last year, average weekly real earnings grew to almost reach the pre-financial crash peak but the most recent data shows a drop to £465 per week in February 2019 so wages have still not quite recovered to their pre-crash levels.

Source: LMS