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More Britons in Work, Wages Grow at Highest Rate for a Decade

WIDNES, CHESHIRE, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Children wave the Union Jack flag as they await the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in the town of Widnes in Halton, Cheshire, England. Meghan Markle married Prince …
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VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

More Britons are in paid work and wages have grown at their highest rate in a decade, according to government figures.

The Officer for National Statistics (ONS) December labour market report released Tuesday shows that 32.48 million Britons are in paid work for the period of August to October 2018, 79,000 more than the previous quarter (May to July) and 396,000 more than a year earlier.

There were 848,000 job vacancies in September to November, 40,000 more than a year earlier and close to a record high.

Earnings including bonuses is also up 3.3 per cent on cash terms, accelerating at its fastest rate since November 2008, and up 1.1 per cent when inflation is taken into account.

Average salaries are also higher than a year earlier at £495 per week (when adjusted for inflation).

The number of 16- t0 64-year-olds economically inactive — neither working nor looking for employment — “was estimated at 21.0%, lower than for a year earlier (21.5%) and the joint-lowest estimate since comparable estimates began in 1971.”

Of 16- to 64-year-olds at work, it was “estimated at 75.7%, higher than for a year earlier (75.1%)” — again, the joint-highest estimate in 47 years.

There is also an estimated 848,000 job vacancies for September to November 2018, 10,000 more than the estimate for June to August 2018 and 40,000 more than the estimate for a year earlier.

Unemployment is at 4.1 per cent, lower than last year and only a slight change compared to May to July.

The authors of the report noted, “A common misconception is that the unemployment statistics are a count of people on benefits; this is not the case as they include unemployed people not claiming benefits.”

Employment Minister Alok Sharma said of the report Tuesday: “Today’s statistics show the enduring strength of our jobs market, with wages outpacing inflation for the ninth month in a row and employment at a record high.”

More job vacancies, higher wages, and more people in work could be accounted for by a decrease in the number of migrant workers from the European Union saturating the jobs market and driving down wages.

Breitbart London reported in November that net EU arrivals are at a six-year low, while previous months have also reported record increases in salary and hiring as the UK prepares to leave the bloc in March 2019.

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