The UK job market remains resilient despite rising Brexit uncertainties, according to data released on Tuesday, which pointed to faster than expected earnings growth and an unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades.
In the three months to May, total earnings for employees excluding bonuses rose by 3.6 per cent compared to the same period last year, up from 3.4 per cent in the three months to April, the Office for National Statistics reported. The rate was faster than City economists had forecast.
The unemployment rate remained at 3.8 per cent, the lowest since 1974, while the share of those in employment remained close to a record high.
“Regular pay is growing at its fastest for nearly eleven years in cash terms, and its quickest for over three years after taking account of inflation,” said Matt Hughes, ONS deputy head of labour market statistics
“The labour market continues to be strong, with the employment rate still at a near-record high and unemployment down again,” said Mr Hughes.
However, there are clear signs of weakening. In the three months to May about 28,000 jobs were created compared to the previous three months, down from 222,000 jobs created in the three months to December last year.
In the three months to June, the number of vacancies also fell to 827,000, 19,000 fewer than for the three months to March 2019.
The pound remained around session lows after mixed UK jobs data, with its direction more defined by continuing uncertainty surrounding national Brexit politics. After three consecutive sessions of gains — which took the currency off some of its lowest levels of 2019 — the pound was down 0.4 per cent at $1.2465.
Against the euro, the pound fell 0.3 per cent to €1.1087
Additional reporting by Michael Hunter in London.