Regular wages grew by 7.8% between April and June 2023, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figure represents the highest annual growth rate since comparable records began in 2001.
Annual growth in employees’ average total pay including bonuses for the same period was 8.2%, although the ONS noted that the figure was bolstered by one-off NHS bonus payments made in June.
Despite the high growth, rising prices mean the figures adjusted for inflation are just 0.1% and 0.5% respectively.
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “Earnings continue to grow in cash terms, with basic pay growing at its fastest since current records began. Coupled with lower inflation, this means the position on people’s real pay is recovering and now looks a bit better than a few months back.”
The number of employees on payrolls increased by 97,000 to 30.2 million in July. However, the ONS pointed out that the figure was a “provisional estimate and is likely to be revised when more data are received next month”.
The records show there were 160,000 working days lost because of labour disputes in June.
Commenting on the latest figures, chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Thanks to the action we’ve taken in the jobs market, it’s great to see a record number of employees.
“Our ambitious reforms will make work pay and help even more people into work – including by expanding free childcare next year – helping to deliver on our priority to grow the economy.”
Stuart Cole, chief macro economist at Equiti Capital, said the ONS figures represented “good news for workers” but “bad news for the fight against inflation”, adding that the numbers “will see another 0.25% interest rate rise virtually fully priced in by the market for next month’s MPC meeting”.