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UK Wages Growing At Fastest Rate In Over 10 Years

16 Jul 2019

UK Wages Growing At Fastest Rate In Over 10 Years

New Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveal that UK wages are growing at their fastest rate in over a decade.

The annualised figures to May 2019 show that UK wages rose by just over three and a half per cent in the last twelve months.

The last time wages rose at that pace in the UK was back in 2008 before the financial crisis really took hold.

Average weekly wages, before tax and other deductions, are now estimated to be a fraction over £500 a week, with the new National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates said to be fanning the flames of growth.

As well as workers having more cash in their pockets, there are also fewer people out of work. The ONS figures show that there are now only 1.29 million people out of work in the UK, the lowest number for at least 27 years.

Commenting on their latest figures, Matt Hughes, the deputy head of labour market statistics at ONS, said: “The labour market continues to be strong. The number of self-employed part-timers has passed one and a half million for the first time, well over double what it was 25 years ago.”

“Regular pay is growing at its fastest for nearly 11 years in cash terms, and its quickest for over three years after taking account of inflation,” added Mr Hughes.

Speaking to the BBC about the latest ONS figures, chief economist at Deloitte, Ian Stewart, said: “The jobs market seems to have defied gravity, with wages rising and unemployment falling even as growth has slowed. The big question is how long can that last. With job vacancies edging lower and firms more cautious on hiring, the pace of job creation could slow from here.”

Alpesh Paleja, the principal economist at the Confederation of British Industry, also commented, saying: “Despite signs that employment growth is tailing off, the labour market remains tight, with the unemployment rate at a multi-decade low. It's encouraging that pay growth has picked up further, putting more money in people's pockets, but as recent data shows productivity remains in the doldrums.”

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