United Kingdom pay growth outpaces inflation for first time in a year

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Unemployment in the same period fell by 16,000 to 1.42 million - the jobless rate of 4.2% is the lowest since 1975. Earnings grew 2.8 per cent while inflation dropped to 2.7 per cent.

Unemployment was 4.3 percent in November through January.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "An acceleration in wage growth for British workers may put the Bank of England on a state of alert when it comes to the next interest rate increase but the nation's retailers may be pleased to see it after a very hard start to the year".

Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.8%, both excluding and including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

Wage growth has accelerated to a near three year high amid hopes a long squeeze on wages is finally coming to an end.

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Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said: "Another milestone for employment has been reached under this Government as employment reaches a record high, up 3.2 million since 2010 - the 16th time the employment record has been broken in the same period".

United Kingdom unemployment rate falls from 4.3% to 4.2%. The figures mean that United Kingdom workers are now getting a small real wage rise. On average, people are still taking home less than they did before the crisis. The inactivity rate also declined to a record low. "For any housing strategy to be relevant and effective for people of all ages, it must include this combination of support for renters, first time buyers and ultimately a level of house building that matches what the country needs".

That report came as the pound has become the best-performing major currency this year, and some investors are positioning for further gains.

Tuesday's wage data adds fuel to the argument that the Bank of England will likely increase interest rates at the next meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee in the first week of May. It could get another boost after labour-market data showed the quickening of wage increases. "Earnings data will be key too". It traded at US$1.4329 as of 10 am in London. It was little changed at 86.31 pence per euro.