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The number of vacancies in the UK fell for the first time in two years, while the “real” salary – adjusted for inflation – fell by a record 3% in the quarter ended in June, as the cost of living crisis worsened.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that average total earnings including bonuses increased by 5.1% between April and June, while regular earnings excluding bonuses increased by 4.7%.
However, once adjusted for inflation (which hit a 40-year high of 9.4% in June), total pay fell 2.5% and regular pay 3%, the fastest decline since comparable records began in 2001.
The unemployment rate in the quarter rose 0.1 percentage points to 3.8%, still near the lowest levels since the 1970s.
But in a sign that hiring demand is beginning to slow, vacancies fell by 19,800 to 1.274 million, the first quarterly decline since the June to August period in 2020. Since vacancies fell to a low historical from April to June 2020, they increased by 945,000 in just over two years, specifies the ONS.
Employment rose by 73,000 in July to a record 29.7 million, while the employment rate for people aged 16 to 64 fell 0.1 percentage point to 75.5% in the quarter ending June.
The economic inactivity rate remained unchanged over the quarter at 21.4%. The increase in economic inactivity since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has been largely driven by students and the long-term sick, the ONS said. Over the past three months, there has been an increase in the number of people who are economically inactive due to long-term illness, which has been more than offset by a decrease in people who are economically inactive for “other” reasons.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi said:
Today’s stats show the labor market is in a strong position, with the unemployment rate lower than at almost any time in the past 40 years – good news as far as I know be a difficult time for people. This highlights the resilience of the UK economy and the fantastic businesses that are creating new jobs across the country.
While there are no easy solutions to the cost of living pressures people face, we provide help where we can. We are providing a £37billion package of support to households in the form of cash grants and tax cuts so people can keep more of what they earn.
And while we can’t fully protect everyone from these global economic shocks, we target this support at millions of the most vulnerable in our society: those on the lowest incomes, retirees and people with disabilities.
ONS Director of Economic Statistics Darren Morgan added:
Meanwhile, the total number of hours worked each week appears to have stabilized ever so slightly below pre-pandemic levels.
Crude oil prices are down again this morning after falling 5% on Mondayas gloomy economic data from China, the world’s biggest rough buyer, reignited fears of a global recession.
Brent crude fell 1% to $94.15 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate, the North American benchmark, fell 0.76% to $88.73.
China’s central bank lowered lending rates on Monday in a surprise move to boost demand after the economy unexpectedly slowed in July as factory output and retail sales were squeezed by Beijing’s strict zero Covid policy .
Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said the Saudi state oil company
Aramco said on Sunday that they could increase production to the maximum capacity of 12 million barrels per day, if ordered by the Saudi government.
And the rising prospect of Iranian oil works in favor of the decline, as the latest news has revealed that Iran has responded to the EU’s proposal to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran. , and European politicians are now pushing the United States to adopt a ‘realistic and flexible approach’ to solving the few remaining problems. A nuclear deal between the United States and Iran is expected to unlock up to 4 million barrels of Iranian oil a day and help ease the supply crisis.
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