Official data shows 3.4% rise after forecasts of 3.1%
Official data shows that pay rose by 3.4% compared with a year ago. This beats forecasts from markets and economists, which had expected a slip in average earnings, excluding bonuses, to 3.1%.
The growth was powered by a 3.8% annual jump in pay for April alone - the largest single-month rise since May 2008.
However, the Resolution Foundation has said that average pay is still a little below its peak of 11 years ago, once you adjust the data for the rising cost of living.
Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics claimed that the unemployment rate remained at 3.8%, adding that has not been lower since the final quarter of 1974.
The employment rate for women was the highest on record - at 72%. Changes to the state pension age leading to fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65 are said to be behind this stat.
The various figures have “highlighted that the labour market remains strong despite the lack of clarity over how Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union will play out”, Yahoo News says.
The UK labour market “so far appears to have bucked any uncertainty around the timing and terms on which Britain will leave the European Union, in contrast to other parts of the economy”, Sky News says.
However, The Guardian points out that “in a potential sign that the country’s jobs boom could be running out of steam”, the Office for National Statistics said the number of job vacancies in the UK fell to 837,000, falling from 861,000 at the start of the year.
The pound edged up amid predictions that the Bank of England could support another quarter-point interest rate rise this summer to 1%. The currency was up 0.2% at $1.2710.
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