Wage growth slows even as employment booms

Here’s what the experts say

Wage growth unexpectedly slipped to 2.8 per cent from 2.9 per cent in the three months to April, despite unemployment rate reaching a record-high of 75.6 per cent, the Office for National Statistics said today.

The number of people in work rose by 146,000, more than the 120,000 predicted by economists.

Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK said: “Today’s figures show that the UK labour market continued to tighten in the three months to April despite the uneven performance of the UK economy. Employment reached record level and the proportion of people in work or looking for work remained at its peak since records began.

“The discrepancy between strong employment and more subdued output growth points at disappointing productivity performance so far this year, which may explain the moderation in earnings growth in April. And as the rise in real earnings fell to a mere 0.1%, households are likely to hold back on discretionary spending.

“While a strong labour market provides a ray of hope that businesses are still confident about the future and households’ employment opportunities remain strong, it presents a dilemma for the Bank of England, as domestic price pressures are on the rise despite a spluttering economy.”

Talking about today’s data, Martin Talbot, Director at totaljobs said: “It’s an exciting time for the employment sector and we are eager to see how employers will respond in such a competitive recruitment space. The ongoing optimism in the UK labour market is a very encouraging sign, and supports the recent positivity fronted by Amazon, who just announced its plans to create 2,500 jobs this year to expand its UK workforce…”

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