UK employment hits record high, but wage growth disappoints

Jobs-Ad-Newspaper-Employment-700.pngUK unemployment fell to 1.69 million between January and March, falling by 2,000 the previous quarter, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The employment rate hit a record high of 74.2 per cent for the first three months of the year. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1 per cent.

There were 31.58 million people in work, up 44,000 from the previous quarter, the ONS says.

However, wage growth continues to plod along below its long-term trend, with average wages rising by 2 per cent including bonuses over the past year.

Average earnings including bonuses rose 2 per cent from a year earlier.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior economist Ben Brettell says: “A further drop in employment today would have added weight to the hypothesis that businesses are delaying decisions about hiring and investment until after next month’s EU vote.

“Low wage growth does mean there is little inflationary pressure coming from the labour market, which in turn should allow monetary policy to remain supportive.”