UK workers are finally getting a pay rise

Chris Ratcliffe / Stringer / Getty ImagesGood news Britain!
  • UK wage growth picked up to almost 3% in the three months to July.
  • “Earnings have grown faster than prices for several months, especially looking at pay excluding bonuses,” David Freeman, the ONS’ head of labour market statistics said in a statement.
  • The increase is in part down to more than one million NHS workers getting a recent pay rise.
  • Unemployment continued to fall, with 55,000 fewer people out of work over the period.

Wages for British workers surged in the three months to July, according to new data released by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.

The ONS said that average wages increased by 2.9% in the three months to July without bonuses. When bonuses are included, that figure was 2.6%. Both numbers were ahead of economists’ expectations. The average forecasts were for 2.8% growth excluding bonuses and 2.4% growth when bonuses were included.

“Earnings have grown faster than prices for several months, especially looking at pay excluding bonuses,” David Freeman, the ONS’ head of labour market statistics, said in a statement.

The increase in average wages across the UK was down, in large part, to a broad-based increase in wages for NHS workers, which came into force in July. The NHS employs more than 1 million people, so its impact on UK wage data is outsized.

Here’s the ONS’ chart:

Screen Shot 2018 09 11 at 09.45.40Office for National Statistics

Separately on Tuesday, the ONS said that the UK’s base rate of unemployment was unchanged in the three months to July, remaining at a historic low of just 4%. The number of unemployed people continued to fall, with 55,000 fewer people out of work than in the previous three months.

The rate of employment was unchanged, as was the number of people in work, the ONS said.

“With the number of people in work little changed, employment growth has weakened,” Freeman added. “However, the labour market remains robust, with the number of people working still at historically high levels, unemployment down on the year and a record number of vacancies.”

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