Let’s start with the good news on jobs because we could all do with a bit of that with the sun setting at 4pm every day. At least so far as the headline numbers were concerned, the latest labour market data was sunny indeed.
The rate of unemployment stood at just 4.3 per cent, vacancies are currently at an all-time record and it doesn’t look as if the pandemic will deliver a second wave of joblessness after all.
It was only three weeks ago that the Office for Budgetary Responsibility was forecasting an unemployment rate of 5.25 per cent in the final quarter of the year, with the job retention – or furlough – scheme having closed at the end of September. That’s clearly not now going to happen.
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