Wage growth stayed flat in September as unemployment fell again

Emma Haslett
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Wages stayed flat in the three months to September (Source: Getty)

The pound fell this morning after official data showed wage growth stayed flat in the three months to November as unemployment dipped again.

Earnings (both including and excluding bonuses) grew 2.2 per cent in the three months to September, the Office for National Statistics said.

However, real wages fell 0.5 per cent in during the period, the figures showed, as inflation continued to bite.

Unemployment fell by 59,000 people to 1.42m, putting it at 4.3 per cent during the period, down from 4.5 per cent in the three months to June. However, the claimant count increased by 1,100 to 806,100. last month.

Having briefly traded above $1.32 this morning, the pound fell half a cent against the dollar to $1.3151 on the news. It dropped 0.5 per cent against the euro, to €1.1105, its lowest since mid-October.

Read more: The BoE's top economist says inflation will stay above target for "years"

After the ONS revealed yesterday that inflation had stuck at three per cent for the second month in a row, economists suggested pressure on consumers may be beginning to ease.

"This... perhaps means the pessimists on the UK economy can hold fire for now," said Alex Lydall, head of dealing at Foenix Partners.

"With Brexit negotiations right back on the table this week, a step in the right direction for the UK economy is really needed, and the gap lessening between wages and Inflation is the best possible news [Bank of England governor Mark] Carney and colleagues could hope for.

"UK cynics will be quieter as we run into the festive season."

Read more: It’s time to question the macroeconomic orthodoxy on inflation

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