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Good morning!

Welcome to Business Live on what promises to be a busy very day.

Regional airline Flybe is expected to announce this morning that it is putting itself up for sale just weeks after issuing a profits warning.

At 9.30am, the Office for National Statistics will release inflation figures which is expected to rise 2.6% in October but is still being outstripped by wage growth which rose at the fastest pace for a decade, according to new data.

And investors will be keeping a close eye on the pound after UK and European officials reached a draft Brexit deal.

Prime Minister Theresa May now has to sell it to a divided Cabinet.

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Good but for how long?

Factory workers
Getty Images

Tej Parikh, senior economist at the Institute of Directors, says that while the employment data is strong "there is a big question mark over how long this can last".

“With pay packets finally picking up, households and retailers will have something to cheer about as we reach the festive period," he says.

"However, we’re unlikely to be entering a ‘new dawn’ for persistent wage growth just yet, as firms are facing ongoing struggles investing in their productivity."

He also said that businesses are finding it more difficult to fill jobs "as the pool of available talent shrinks".

“So, while today’s data may be a boon as Brexit negotiations enter the zero hour, it shouldn’t mask longer term challenges in driving sustained growth in salaries and alleviating skills shortages.”

Annual drop in EU national employment largest on record

ONS graphic

"For July to September 2018, there were 2.25 million EU nationals working in the UK, 132,000 fewer than for a year earlier (the largest annual fall on record)," the ONS says.

And Richard Clegg of the ONS says there were 13,000 more people from European countries not in the EU working in the UK in that time period.

Three quarters of working age people in work

ONS graph

"For July to September 2018, 75.5% of people aged 16 to 64 were in paid work – higher than a year earlier, not much changed compared with April to June 2018," says ONS

'Real earnings have picked up noticeably'

“The labour market is little changed on the previous three months, though still stronger than it was at this time last year. With faster wage growth and more subdued inflation, real earnings have picked up noticeably in the last few months. However, real wage growth is below the level seen in 2015, and real wages have not yet returned to their 2008 levels. The recent uptick in British nationals in work and the decline in workers from the so-called ‘A8’ eastern European countries both seem to be accelerating.”

Matt HughesONS senior statistician

BreakingWage growth picks up

Wage growth versus inflation
Wage growth versus inflation

UK earnings excluding bonuses grew by 3.2% in the three months to September, compared with a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics says.

Including bonuses, earnings grew by 3%.

BreakingUK unemployment rises

Unemployment rose by 21,000 to 1.38 million in the three months to September, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The UK employment rate rose to 4.1% from 4%.