Average UK weekly earnings edge above inflation as unemployment falls

Jobs

The Office for National statistics (ONS) released its latest statistical bulletin for UK Labour Market Statistics on Wednesday, which confirmed that annual growth of 1.7% in UK average weekly earnings, including bonuses, is overtaking the current inflation rate of 1.6%.

ONS Labour Market Statistics, April 2014, which compare December 2013 to February 2014 with the same period a year earlier, reveal that average weekly wages including bonus payments before taxes and other deductions from gross pay, rose to GBP479 in February 2014, compared to GBP470 in the same period in 2014.

Excluding bonus payments, the Labour Market data shows that average wages rose by 1.4% and in cash terms, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were GBP449 in February 2014, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay. This was an increase from GBP443 in the same period twelve months ago.

The ONS figures also reveal that average weekly private sector earnings were up 2.0% on the year. Including bonus payments, average pay in the private sector was GBP474 per week, GBP20 per week lower that average weekly public sector earnings of GBP494, which rose by 0.9%. Excluding publicly owned financial corporations, average weekly pay in the public sector was only GBP8 per week more than the average weekly earnings of GBP482 a week for those in the private sector.

In addition, the ONS latest estimates for December 2013 to February 2014 indicate that unemployment in the UK fell to 2.24 million for December 2013 to February 2014,  77,000 lower than for September to November 2013 and 320,000 lower than the year before. The unemployment rate for December 2013 to February 2014 was 6.9% of the UK’s labour force, which includes both unemployed and employed people. This was down from 7.1% for September to November 2013 and down from 7.9% recorded in the previous year.

The number of people employed in the UK increased to 30.39 million for December 2013 to February 2014, 239,000 higher compared to September to November 2013 and 691,000 higher than the year before that. There were 72.6% of people aged 16 to 64 in work during December 2013 to February 2014, an increase from 72.1% for September to November 2013 and up from 71.4%  in the previous year.

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