Wages rise at record rate as unemployment jumps unexpectedly

11 Jul 2023

UK wages have risen at a record annual pace fuelling fears that inflation will stay high for longer.

Regular pay grew by 7.3% in the March to May period from year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS also revealed that unemployment rose unexpectedly over the quarter.

It said the UK jobless rate jumped to 4% in the three months to May, from 3.8% in the previous quarter. However, despite the record increase, pay rises still lag behind inflation.

The pace of wage rises has come under increasing focus by the Bank of England as it tries to control inflation. Inflation currently stands at 8.7%, well above the Bank of England's target of 2%.

Strong wage increases could push up costs faced by companies and force them to raise prices for their goods even higher.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: 'Our jobs market is strong with unemployment low by historical standards. But we still have around one million job vacancies, pushing up inflation even further. Our labour market reforms - including expanding free childcare next year - will help to build the high wage, high growth, low inflation economy we all want to see.'

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