Pay picking up but UK living costs still high

City A.M. Reporter
BRITON’S incomes edged up for the first time in three months in October as the labour market strengthened, although pay growth still lagged far behind inflation, a survey showed this morning.

An index measuring the change in income from employment compared with last month rose to 50.6 from 49.5 in September, just topping the neutral level of 50, according to the poll by financial data firm Markit.

Unemployment in Britain has fallen in recent months as the economy has gained speed, and workers’ worries about losing their jobs have eased.

Markit’s job security index slipped only slightly to 46.0 in October from September, when it hit its highest since Markit began the survey in February 2009. Finance and business services professionals felt the most confident about their jobs, followed by construction workers.

“Signs of an outright improvement in financial well-being are thin on the ground as incomes continue to lag behind living costs,” said Markit economist Tim Moore.

The index measuring current inflation perceptions reached its highest since July, while the gauge of expected living costs in 12 months’ time hit the highest since April.