Samuel Tombs, Chief UK Economist, Pantheon Macroeconomics, warned that "part-time self-employed roles accounted for 70,000 of the increase in employment." He said that "these workers are under-utilised; indeed, the proportion of part-time workers who want full-time work increased to 12.3 per cent in the three months to August, from 12.1 per cent in the previous three months. Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies has flatlined, consistent with only weak growth in employment ahead."
Andrew Wishart, UK Economist, at Capital Economics was more optimistic, after acknowledging that "real wages have fallen by close to one per cent over the past year," he said: "We expect nominal wage growth to pick-up as limited remaining labour market slack is absorbed, and inflation should fall as the impact of the pound’s depreciation fades. As such, it shouldn’t be too long before real wages start to rise again."
Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at the global job site, Indeed, was less sanguine, saying: "With the gap between wage and price rises steadily turning into a gulf, ever more workers are seeing their living standards be steadily eroded."
So what about interest rates? Will they still be going up, as suggested recently by Bank of England governor Mark Carney?
Angelo Ciavarella, head of global markets at online trading platform, Infinox, has something to say on this: "Against a backdrop of Brexit-related uncertainty and a highly leveraged consumer, markets are concerned a rate rise could decimate confidence and undermine the already weak economic growth we have seen in 2017. Carney's crisis is that he has cried wolf on so many occasions in the past that he may feel obliged to raise rates whatever."