Wage growth at highest level since mid-2008 but hiring slows

By James Sillars, business reporter

Pay rose at its fastest level for more than 11 years over the three months to July, according to the latest employment figures.

The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the annual rate of wage growth at 4% – an increase on the 3.8% rate reported last month.

But when the effects of bonuses were stripped out, the figure fell back to 3.8% from 3.9%.

Image: Employment resumed its climb following a fall reported by the ONS in August

It represents the 18th month in a row that wages have outstripped the pace of inflation – bolstering consumer spending power.

However, businesses and consumers have been cautious with their expenditure in the run-up to Brexit to the extent the economy shrank in the second quarter of the year.


Separate figures from the ONS 24 hours earlier suggested that a rebound for output in July, especially in the powerhouse service sector, had knocked fears of a recession.

The job figures showed unemployment fell by 11,000 to 1.29 million in the three months to July.

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It represented a slight recovery on the previous month's data which showed the jobless total climbing by more than 30,000.

That upwards move prompted the-then work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd to warn that there were "no guarantees" for employment under a no-deal Brexit scenario.

The jobless rate also returned to 3.8% – its joint lowest level since 1975 – following its rise to 3.9% a month ago.

However, hiring slowed with just 31,000 net new jobs created while vacancies fell.

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said of the data: "At a testing time, the labour market is surpassing expectations, though there are early signs the jobs boom could be cooling down.

"As so many people have entered work, there has beRead More – Source