The pay of workers in Britain grew at its slowest in pace since early 2015 in the three months to October, official data showed, even as strong job creation pushed down the unemployment rate.
The mixed signals from the labour market underscored one of the reasons why the Bank of England is in no hurry to raise interest rates with inflation only just above zero and little sign of a pickup in price pressure from rising wages.
Britain’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 5.2 percent from 5.3 percent in the three months to September, hitting a new seven-year low, the Office for National Statistics also said on Wednesday.
Joblessness had been expected to remain at 5.3 percent, according to the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.
But said the regular earnings of workers — excluding bonuses — rose by just 2.0 percent in the three months to October, its slowest since the three months to February and weaker than a forecast of 2.3 percent in the Reuters poll.
Including bonuses, earnings also slowed with growth of 2.4 percent down from 3.0 percent in the three months to September, the ONS said.