Britain’s workers received their biggest pay rises in more than 11 years this summer as the unemployment rate fell back to its lowest since the mid-1970s, even as the country’s political crisis over Brexit deepened.
But there were a couple of signs in a recent official data that the approach of the latest deadline for leaving the European Union was making some employers nervous.
Hiring was weaker than expected by most economists and vacancies fell to their lowest level since late 2017.
“At a testing time, the labor market is surpassing expectations, though there are early signs the jobs boom could be cooling down,” said Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, an employers group.
The Office for National Statistics said total earnings growth, including bonuses, rose by an annual 4.0% in the three months to July, up from 3.8% in the three months to June for its strongest increase since mid-2008.
Pay growth is watched closely by the Bank of England to gauge future inflation pressures, and the latest increase was stronger than all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists.