Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Thursday, 18 February 2016

UK: 2015 labour market recovery

UK employment 31.42 million

The great recession hit Great Britain extraordinarily hard, but unconventional mometary policy has played its role in gettijng folk back to work in greater numbers than ever before.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed total employed growing by +521,000 in 2015 to an all-time high 31.42 million, while the employment rate is the highest since records began in 1971 at 74.1 per cent.

Through 2015 unemployment declined by 172,000 to 1.69 million (after falling by another 60,000 in the fourth quarter), with the unemployment rate declining from 5.7 per cent to just 5.1 per cent in the calendar year, a decade low.

With inflation remaining very low at just +0.3 per cent, average weekly earnings growth of +1.9 per cent represents reasonable enough growth in real terms. 

England house price high

UK house prices increased by +6.7 per cent in 2015, with +7.3 per cent growth in England and negligible increases elsewhere. 

The UK index is +19.0 per cent higher than the pre-economic downturn peak in January 2008. 

However, the rebound has largely been an England affair, where mix-adjusted prices hit a new average high of £301,000.

The index for Northern Ireland in December 2015 remains 44.6 per cent below its peak of August 2007.

In 2015 all of the big gains were seen in and around London, with Greater London (+9.4 per cent), the East (+9.7 per cent), and South East (+8.8 per cent) all once again recording strong growth.

In December 2015, London continued to be the English region with the highest average house price at £536,000, with prices in the capital having surged +53.3 per cent higher than their pre-downturn peak.