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UK’s hot labour market shows sign of cooling: Indeed data

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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UK’s hot labour market shows sign of cooling: Indeed data

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s labour market remains tight, despite a fall in job postings by employers over the course of 2023 and broader weakness in the economy, figures from recruitment platform Indeed showed on Thursday.

At the start of December last year, there were 48% more job postings on Indeed than before the COVID-19 pandemic. But on Dec. 1 this year, this had shrunk to 10%.

“The UK economy enters 2024 facing strong economic headwinds. But the labour market continues to show resilience and the imbalance of labour demand and supply is only gradually easing,” Indeed economist Jack Kennedy said.

The Bank of England is closely watching Britain’s job market as it worries that labour shortages will keep wage growth high and make it hard to get inflation all the way back to its 2% target after it hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October 2022.

Consumer price inflation in October this year was 4.6%, above the rate in other major advanced economies.

Indeed data showed advertised salaries in Britain in the three months to the end of October were 7.0% higher than a year earlier, compared with increases of 4.2% in the United States and 3.8% in the euro zone.

Britain’s official labour market data for the three months to the end of September showed a 7.7% annual rise in average earnings excluding bonuses, down slightly from a record 7.9% over the summer. October data is due on Dec. 12.

Unemployment was 4.2% in the third quarter, up from 3.7% at the end of 2022, although Britain’s statistics office has this data under review due to a sharp fall in response rates.

Indeed said the percentage of job postings offering the option of remote or hybrid working had dropped to 14.4% by the end of October from an all-time peak of 16.3% in early May, possibly reflecting slightly less competition for staff.

“The path to a soft landing remains open to the UK but there is still a long way to go and recession risks loom,” Kennedy said.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)