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According to analysts at the Royal Bank of Scotland, 2019 saw some cracks begin to emerge in the performance of the UK labour market with employment falling over the summer and vacancies declining throughout the year.

Key Quotes

“The latest data shows reprieve for the former with employment rising 24k in the three months to October from the previous three. But the latter continued to show deterioration. The number of vacancies has fallen below 800k for the first time since late 2017. That’s still a lot of “help wanted”, but the 7% fall on a year earlier is the biggest decline since 2009.”

“Wage growth has been trending lower in recent months. Regular pay (i.e. excluding bonuses) rose 3.5%y/y in the three months to October, the weakest pace since April. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the labour market has lost its edge. A worrying development for an economy that has relied so heavily on a robust jobs growth machine.”