LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 14: New UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt leaves 10 Downing Street on October 14, 2022 in London, England. Former Health and Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is made Chancellor of the Exchequer by PM Liz Truss after she sacked Kwasi Kwarteng from the role. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
THE UK unemployment rate edged higher to 4.3 per cent in the three months to the end of July, as wage growth remained at a record high, official data showed Tuesday (12).
Unemployment had been 4.2 per cent in the quarter to the end of June, the Office for National Statistics added in a statement.
Average regular earnings growth, excluding bonuses, stood at 7.8 per cent in the three months to the end of July.
“Wage growth remains high, partly reflecting one-off payments to public sector workers, but for real wages to grow sustainably, we must stick to our plan to halve inflation,” chancellor of exchequer Jeremy Hunt said in reaction.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak at the start of 2023 said he hoped to halve UK annual inflation when the level stood above 10 per cent.
But it remains at 6.8 per cent, the highest among G7 nations.
“The tightness of the labour market continued to ease in July,” noted Ashley Webb, UK economist at Capital Economics research group.
“But the… wage growth will only add to the Bank of England’s unease and supports our view that the Bank will raise interest rates once more, from 5.25 per cent currently to a peak of 5.5 pre cent” at its regular policy meeting next week.