People not looking for work due to illness hits record highon October 11, 2022 at 8:54 am

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Nearly 2.5 million people are not looking for work because of long-term sickness, adding to labour shortages.

EngineersImage source, Getty Images

The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly 50 years, latest official figures show.

The jobless rate fell to 3.5% in the three months to August, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the lowest since early 1974

However, the squeeze on pay remains, with rises in regular wages failing to keep up with the rising cost of living.

When taking the rise in prices into account, the value of regular pay fell by 2.9%, the ONS said.

The ONS said that regular pay – which excludes bonuses – grew at an annual rate of 5.4% in the June to August period.

This is the strongest growth in regular pay seen outside of the coronavirus pandemic period, the UK statistics body said.

However, pay rises are still lagging behind inflation – the rate at which prices rise – which currently stands at 9.9%.

There was also a further sign that the jobs market may have peaked, with the number of job vacancies falling again.

The estimated number of vacancies in the three months to September fell by 46,000 to 1,246,000, which is the largest fall since mid-2020 during the Covid pandemic.

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