Official figures reveal that pay growth in the UK has exceeded inflation by the highest margin in two years, offering a glimmer of hope in the face of persistent economic challenges.
Between July and September, regular pay increased at an annual rate of 7.7%, outpacing the average inflation rate for the same period. While this news may alleviate some financial pressure on households, it is worth noting that the increase is primarily attributed to a slowdown in price rises rather than substantial jumps in pay.
The job market, however, has displayed signs of weakness, with the Office for National Statistics reporting a reduction of 58,000 vacancies between August and October. Despite this, the unemployment rate in the UK remained relatively stable at 4.2% between July and September.Analysts suggest that wage growth may face further slowdowns due to diminishing expectations of future price rises and a weakening job market.
Despite the positive outlook on falling inflation and growing real wages, concerns linger among employers regarding the impact on costs. Many businesses that have been absorbing cost rises through the years will have no other option than to increase prices to cover costs.
As Chancellor Jeremy Hunt prepares to unveil his upcoming Autumn Statement, anticipation surrounds the potential for a significant increase to the National Living Wage.
The Chancellor said: "It's heartening to see inflation falling and real wages growing, keeping more money in people's pockets.
"Building on the labour market reforms in spring, the Autumn Statement will set out my plans to get people back into work and deliver growth for the UK."
Talk to us about your business costs.