September 16, 2015 10:58 am Published by

UK unemployment edged up to 1.82 million in the May to July period, up 10,000 from the previous quarter.

Earnings, which have been slow to grow even as unemployment has come down, grew 2.9% excluding bonuses, the fastest rate of growth since 2009.

The unemployment rate was 5.5%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, unchanged from the previous quarter but down from 6.2% last year.

There were 31.09 million in work, up 42,000 from the previous quarter.

When measured against the same period a year ago the total number of people in employment was 413,000 higher.

Including bonuses, average weekly earnings growth grew by 2.9%, although this was lower than the 3.3% growth rate seen in the three months to May.

The employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 was 73.5%, unchanged from the previous quarter but higher than the 72.8% rate in the same period a year ago.

The rise in wage growth strengthens the hand of those who are arguing for higher interest rates from the Bank of England.

Chris Williamson, Chief Economist, Markit said: “The long-awaited upturn in pay, which has been the missing element of the UK’s economic recovery, looks to be finally upon us, reviving the prospect of a rate hike by the end of the year.

“Strip out the public sector and private sector pay rose at an annual rate of 3.4% (both including and excluding bonuses) in the three months to July.

“This is a rate of increase that would normally worry policymakers into a pre-emptive hike in interest rates to avoid upward wage pressures feeding through to higher inflation.”

The pound rose against the euro by one cent following the news and was up 0.7 cents against the dollar.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “It is welcome news that pay packets are rising and jobs are being created. With wages up 2.9% over the year and inflation low, working people have received the fastest real-terms rise in over a decade.

“At 73.5%, the employment rate is the highest it has been.”

Article from the BBC website

Tags: , ,

Categorised in: