Wage growth in Britain hit a four-year high of 2.7% in April, according to official figures, delivering a welcome increase to household finances following the fall in inflation this year.
But some analysts warned that the jump in real wages, the highest for seven years, would be short-lived if inflation continued to rise over the rest of the year and productivity remained flat.
The Office for National Statistics said average wages increased from 2.3% in March and 0.7% in April last year to record the strongest rate of growth since August 2011. CPI inflation fell 0.1% in April, the first time that the cost of living had turned negative. Inflation was 1.8% in the same month last year.
Unemployment fell by 43,000 to 1.81 million, down 349,000 on a year earlier. The jobless rate stood at 5.5% in the three months to April.
The employment minister, Priti Patel, said the figures illustrated how Britain was becoming a more prosperous nation, especially after the rise in the three months to April was fuelled by an increase in full-time work. “The UK’s employment rate has seen the largest rise of any G7 economy over the last year,” she said.
Service sector pay rose at an annual rate of 2.9%, the highest since early 2009, while financial services pay was up 3.6%. Construction pay growth rose to a post-crisis high of 4.0%.
via The Guardian