UK pay picked up less than prices at the end of last year while job vacancies rose to a record and the unemployment rate hit a pandemic low.
Average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, grew at an annual pace of 3.7 per cent in the final quarter of 2021, data published by the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday. However, prices were rising faster than pay, which meant that wages fell 0.8 per cent in real terms.
This is despite a tight labour market. The number of job vacancies in the three months to January rose to a record 1,298,400, an increase of 513,700 from its pre-coronavirus January to March 2020 level.
The number of employees based on HMRC real time data also increased by 108,000 between December and January to a record 29.5mn.
Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, said that the number of employees on payrolls rose in January 2022 and is well above pre-pandemic levels. However, he noted that the number of…