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Blow to workers as wage growth slows

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The pace of UK wage growth slowed in the three months to September, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The average worker’s pay packet is now growing at 3.6 per cent a year down from 3.9 per cent in the previous period. However, wage growth is still more than double the rate of consumer inflation.

In real terms, employees took home £470 a week on average at the end of September, £3 lower than the pre-recession peak of £473 per week for April 2008.

Britain’s employment rate fell to 76 per cent from 76.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

The ONS said there were 58,000 fewer people in work driven by record quarterly decreases for women and part-time workers.

However, the figures reveal the largest annual increase in self-employed workers since 2016.

There are now 4.96 million people working for themselves – 195,000 more than a year earlier – with the self-employed accounting for 15.1 per cent of all people in employment.

Job vacancies saw their biggest annual fall since late 2009.

For August to October, there were an estimated 800,000 vacancies, 18,000 fewer than for the three months to July and 53,000 fewer than a year earlier.

Vacancies fell sharply during the 2008 recession and have generally increased since 2012. However, they have been falling since early 2019.

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