Wage growth stays strong as unemployment falls

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Wage growth remains strong despite a slight fall on last month’s 11-year high, with the figure excluding bonuses for May to July falling to 3.8%, says the Office for National Statistics.

The unemployment rate also dipped to 3.8%, but the estimated employment rate of 76.1% – the same as July – is still the highest since records began.

The unemployment rate is lower than this time last year (4%).

There was a total of 32.78 million people aged 16 or over in employment.

The increase has been mainly driven by more women being employed – a rise of 284,000 on the year to a total of 15.52 million.

Male employment also rose by 86,000 on the year to reach 17.26 million, mainly because of rising numbers of self-employed.

ONS head of labour market statistics David Freeman said: “The employment rate has remained fairly constant at a joint record high for some months now, while the unemployment rate was last lower at the end of 1974.

“Vacancies continue to fall back from recent record highs, with much of this decline coming from small businesses.”

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