Year-long wage squeeze nearing an end


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The year-long squeeze on wages is nearing an end, official figures for the three months to February suggest.

Using the consumer prices index (CPI). average wages went up by 2.8%, still below the 2.9% inflation rate.

But the Office for National Statistics said when wages are compared with their new measure of inflation, including housing costs (CPIH), average weekly earnings rose by 0.2% year-on-year.

Inflation started to overtake wages in February last year, squeezing incomes.

Meanwhile, unemployment in the period fell by 16,000 to 1.42 million – the rate of 4.2% is the lowest since the three months to May 1975.

The Bank of England has said it expects the fall in unemployment to start pushing up pay more quickly, which is the main reason why it has said it is likely to raise interest rates more quickly than it previously thought.

The number of people in work has reached a record high of 32.2 million.



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