According to the latest official labour market statistics, wage growth in the UK accelerated to 3.6 per cent in the year to May 2019, which is the highest rate in almost 11 years.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that wage growth reached its highest rate since 2008 in the year to May after taking inflation into account. Moreover, a record high of 32.75 million people were in employment over the same period, while only 1.29 million were out of work, which is the lowest figure since at least 1992.
The acceleration in wage growth has been helped by two factors, which are pay increases for some NHS staff and the introduction of the new National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates.
However, when taking the impact of rising prices into consideration, average pay is only £468 per week, which is below levels seen before the 2008 financial crisis. Before the recession, in April 2008, the average pay was £473 per week.
Meanwhile, the rate of unemployment remained at 3.8 per cent, which is its joint lowest level since the three months to January 1975. However, the growth in employment slowed to 28,000, which is the weakest increase since the three months to August last year.
Commenting on the figures, a spokesman for the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) said that it is not surprising that the jobs boom is finally petering out, given the current constraints on the number of available and suitable candidates.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that while it is encouraging that pay growth has picked up further, it is not such good news that productivity remains “in the doldrums”.
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