You are here: Home - Saving & Banking - News -

Wages grow for second month in a row

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Estimates reveal average weekly earnings for UK employees in the three months to March rose by 0.4%, adjusted for inflation.

This is the second month in a row that wages have grown. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that in nominal terms (not adjusted for price inflation), weekly earnings increased by 2.9% excluding bonuses. Including bonuses, the figure stood at 2.6%.

As such, the figures comfortably outstrip inflation for March which came in at 2.5%.

In monetary terms, average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £484 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £470 per week for a year earlier.

Average total pay (including bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £515 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £503 per week for a year earlier.

GDP growth down

Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International, said: “It has long been suggested that wage growth has been the missing piece of the puzzle in Britain’s long, slow recovery from the financial crisis. It should be the key to unlocking a return to monetary normality.

“But just as this piece has fallen into place, another has fallen down the back of the sofa – economic growth. UK GDP growth slowed markedly in the first quarter of 2018 and, last week, the Bank of England trimmed its growth forecast for the year as a whole.

“With economic growth so fragile, the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street felt it had no choice but to back track on its anticipated rate rise last week. The bank will continue to struggle to know when to pull the trigger on a rate rise, as the waters are muddied by continuing real wage growth but slowing general inflation. As it outlined in its Inflation Report ‘any increases in Bank Rate are likely to be at a gradual rate and to a limited extent.”

Unemployment down

The statistics also revealed the employment rate between January and March was 75.6%, higher than for a year earlier (74.8%) and the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

ONS data showed there were 32.34 million people in work, 197,000 more than for October to December 2017, and 396,000 more than for a year earlier.

Unemployment over the three months came in at 4.2%, down on the 4.6% a year earlier, but it is still the joint lowest figure since 1975.

In total, there were 1.42 million unemployed people, which is 46,000 fewer than for the three months to December and 116,000 fewer than recorded last year.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

If one of your jobs this month is to get your finances in order, moving your savings to a higher paying deal i...

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

Few people had heard of ‘furlough’ before March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust the idea of bein...

Coronavirus and your finances: what help can you get in the second lockdown?

News and updates on everything to do with coronavirus and your personal finances.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
Inactive borrowers should be contacted one year after being on SVR

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing that inactive borrowers who have been on a lender’s reversion rate for a...