UK average earnings growth unchanged at record high

by | Sep 12, 2023

(Sharecast News) – UK wage growth remained at its highest level in 22 years in July, but the unemployment rate ticked higher, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics.
Average regular earnings growth was unchanged at 7.8% in the three months to July, above consumer price inflation of 6.8%, while the unemployment rate nudged up to 4.3% from 4.2%.

Growth in average total pay – which includes bonuses – was 8.5% in July, up from 8.2%, as one-off payments to NHS workers and civil servants after deals to end strike action provided a boost.

The number of job vacancies in the three months to August was 989,000, down 64,000 from the previous quarter, the ONS said.

Director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “Earnings in cash terms continue to increase, at a record rate outside the pandemic-affected period.

“Coupled with lower inflation, this means people’s real pay is no longer falling.

“Unemployment continues to increase in the latest three months. Correspondingly, employment is down, driven by falls among men and the self-employed.

“The proportion of people neither working or looking for a job is slightly up, with more students, as well as the long-term sick reaching yet another record.”

Pantheon Macroeconomics said: “The persistence of excessively vigorous wage growth in July probably means the MPC can’t stop raising Bank Rate at this month’s meeting, but the end of the tightening cycle is not far off now.”

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