WAGES are on the rise for millions of workers across the UK.
Official figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that pay is still growing at its fastest rate on record.
Official figures today reveal regular pay excluding bonuses stood at 7.8% in May to July this year.
This is the same as the previous three-month period and the highest annual growth rate since comparable records began in 2001.
Growth in employees’ average total pay, which included bonuses, was 8.5%.
This is the largest annual growth rate seen outside the coronavirus pandemic period, according to the ONS.
Last month the ONS announced that for the months of April to June, total pay including bonuses was up 8.2%.
Taking into account inflation, which is currently 6.8%, means that total real pay rose by 1.2% on the year – it was last higher in January to March 2022 at 1.4%.
Regular real pay rose by 0.6% on the year; it was last higher in August to October 2021 when it rose by 1.0%.
Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “Earnings in cash terms continue to increase, at a record rate outside the pandemic-affected period.
“Coupled with lower inflation, this means people’s real pay is no longer falling.”
The yearly average regular pay growth for the public sector was 6.6% in May to July, for the private sector this was 8.1%.
In recent months rising wages have been blamed for keeping inflation stubbornly high, resulting in base rate hikes by the Bank of England (BoE) which have pushed up borrowing costs for millions of households.
The latest wage figures show some of this pressure on household budgets could ease.
But high wages could force the Bank of England to hike rates again next week as it tries to bring inflation back down to its 2% target.
The figures released today could determine how much state pensions will increase by in April next year.
Inflation currently sits at 6.8% but we won’t know the September figure until October when it’s announced for the previous month.
Rising fuel prices in August are likely to lead to a blip in the latest inflation numbers, according to both Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and BoE governor Andrew Bailey.
The latest inflation figures for August are set to be announced next week if things continue the way they are going, wages will remain the higher figure when the state pension increase is revealed.
Meanwhile, the rate of UK unemployment rose to 4.3% in the three months to July from 4.2% in the previous three months.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: “It’s heartening to see the number of employees on payroll is still close to record highs and that our unemployment rate remains below many of our international peers.
“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.”