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UK Wage Growth Accelerates, Unemployment Rate Steady at 4%

Published 10/16/2018, 04:33 AM
Updated 10/16/2018, 04:33 AM
© Reuters.  Wage growth in the UK rose in August. - Pay growth in the UK accelerated at the fastest pace in nearly 10 years in August, while the unemployment rate remained steady, according to official data released Tuesday.

Average earnings, excluding bonuses, rose by an annual 3.1% in the three months to August, the Office of National Statistics reported. It was the fastest increase since Jan. 2009 and came in above expectations for growth of 2.9%.

Including bonuses, pay growth rose by an annualized 2.7%, the quickest growth since February. Analysts had expected the reading to remain steady at 2.6%.

The annual rate of inflation in the UK was 2.5% in August, indicating only a modest boost to workers spending power.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.0% in August.

"People’s regular monthly wage packets grew at their strongest rate in almost a decade but, allowing for inflation, the growth was much more subdued. The number of people in work remained at a near record high, while the unemployment rate was at its lowest since the mid-1970s", said ONS head of labor market David Freeman.

The number of people in employment fell by 5,000 in the three months to August, compared to expectations for an increase of 11,000.

The claimant count, which measures the change in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose by 18,500 in the three months to September, from an upwardly revised 14,200 in the previous three month period.

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