UK wage growth hits 11-year high as unemployment sticks at 3.8%

UK’s jobless rate remains at its lowest rate since the mid-1970s despite Brexit cloud

epa07710074 Workers sort packages in the new Amazon Sorting Warehouse in the Settecamini area of Rome, 11 July 2019. Reports state Amazon hopes to increase its logistics capacity and flexibility in Italy and ensure faster deliveries to clients. In addition the warehouse is hoped to provide better service for companies selling at Amazon as they benefit from distribution networks. The new sorting unit creates 70 new jobs and covers a space of 8000 square meters. EPA/RICCARDO ANTIMIANI

epa07710074 Workers sort packages in the new Amazon Sorting Warehouse in the Settecamini area of Rome, 11 July 2019. Reports state Amazon hopes to increase its logistics capacity and flexibility in Italy and ensure faster deliveries to clients. In addition the warehouse is hoped to provide better service for companies selling at Amazon as they benefit from distribution networks. The new sorting unit creates 70 new jobs and covers a space of 8000 square meters. EPA/RICCARDO ANTIMIANI

 

UK wages grew at the fastest pace in 11 years in the three months through May and unemployment remained at its lowest rate since the mid-1970s.

Total pay, including bonuses, jumped by 3.9 per cent during May, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. The number of people in work rose 28,000 to a record high, leaving the jobless rate at a 44-year low of 3.8 per cent.

The figures underline the buoyancy of the labour market, which has boosted consumer spending and left employers struggling to find staff. Wage growth continues to comfortably outpace consumer-price inflation, which averaged 2 per cent during the period.

There were some signs the labour market may be slowing, however. Employment growth was the weakest since the summer of 2018, lowering the employment rate, and vacancies fell to their lowest level for a year.

Fears about cost pressures in the labour market are being overshadowed by the threat of a no-deal Brexit and worries about the global slowdown. Investors see a Bank of England rate cut as more likely than an increase.

Employment in Northern Ireland, meanwhile, reached a record high in the second quarter, according to data from the North’s latest Labour Force Survey. The survey showed the employment rate is currently sitting at 71.1 per cent, following a rise of 1.7 percentage points over the last year.

Despite the rise in people in work, the survey indicates a rise in the unemployment rate by a slight 0.1 per cent over the quarter, but an overall decrease in the last year to 3.1 per cent. - - Bloomberg