UK unemployment rate reaches 4.3% as wage growth hits record high

People queue to enter a job centre in east London on July 20, 2016. — AFP/File
People queue to enter a job centre in east London on July 20, 2016. — AFP/File

The unemployment rate in the UK edged higher to 4.3% in the three months to the end of July, as wage growth remained at a record high, according to official data on Tuesday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released a statement on Tuesday revealing that unemployment in the UK had been 4.2% in the quarter to the end of June.

Average regular earnings growth, excluding bonuses, stood at 7.8% in the three months to the end of July, recording its highest annual growth rate since comparable records began in 2001, according to ONS.

“Wage growth remains high, partly reflecting one-off payments to public sector workers, but for real wages to grow sustainably we must stick to our plan to halve inflation,” Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said in reaction to the record.

Furthermore, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the start of 2023 said he hoped to halve UK annual inflation when the level stood above 10%, AFP reported.

However, despite the prime minister’s great ambitions, it remains at 6.8%, the highest among G7 nations.

“The tightness of the labour market continued to ease in July,” noted Ashley Webb, UK economist at Capital Economics research group.

“But the… wage growth will only add to the Bank of England’s unease and supports our view that the Bank will raise interest rates once more, from 5.25% currently to a peak of 5.5%” at its regular policy meeting next week.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top