Jobless unchanged

Wage growth slows as cost of living pressures ease

Wage growth has come off a recent high

Wage growth has eased back, according to official figures that also show no change to the UK’s jobless rate despite signs of weakening activity.

Average wages excluding bonuses in the three months to the end of September were 7.7% higher than a year earlier. That was down from the 7.8% growth registered last month.

The total annual growth rate is affected by the Civil Service one-off payments made in July and August 2023, the Office For National Statistics said.

While the fall in the pace of wage rises is slight, the widening gap between wage growth and price rises suggests the squeeze on living costs may be starting to ease.

It is likely to be welcomed by the Bank of England which has highlighted wage growth as a crucial indicator of the persistence of domestic inflation.

The ONS figures show unemployment unchanged at 4.2% though the data is being seen as less reliable following changes to the calculation.

The agency is struggling to boost participation rates for its Labour Force Survey, which is the backbone of the employment figures. Falling response volumes have knocked the perceived accuracy of the estimates.

Inflation figures due out tomorrow are expected to show annual price growth falling sharply to about 4.8%, from 6.7% last month.

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