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MNI DATA ANALYSIS: UK Q1 Wage Growth Slows; Job Growth Strong>

-UK Feb-April Total Earnings +2.5% 3m/year-ago vs +2.6% Jan-Mar
-UK Feb-April Regular Earnings +2.8% 3m/year-ago vs +2.9% Jan-Mar
-UK Feb-April Real Total Earnings +0.1% 3m/year-ago vs +0.1% Jan-Mar
-UK Feb-April Employment +146,000; employment rate 75.6% Jan-Mar
-UK Feb-April LFS Unemployment Rate 4.2% vs 4.2% Jan-Mar
     By Laurie Laird and Jamie Satchithanantham 
     London (MNI) - UK earnings growth weakened in the three months to 
April, despite another sharp rise in employment growth, defying Bank of 
England predictions of a wage growth acceleration. 
     Employment rose by 146,000 to 32.39 million, after increase of 
197,000 between January and March, above the MNI median forecast of a 
100,000 gain. 
     That took the employment rate to a joint-record-high of 75.6%, 
matching the first quarter outturn. 
     Unemployment fell by by 38,000 in the three months to April to 1.42 
million, as inactivity decreased by 72,000 to 8.65 million, taking the 
inactivity rate to a joint record-low of 21.0%. 
     The vast majority of new entrants to the work force were previously 
looking after family or home, with the number of inactive workers in 
this category falling to 2.025 million, the lowest since records began 
in 1993. 
     Joblessness, as measured by the Labour Force Survey, steadied at 
4.2% in the three months to April, in line with the MNI median forecast, 
unchanged from the three months to March, matching the lowest rate since 
the thee months to March of 1975. 
     The outturn fell short of the 4.1% jobless rate forecast of Bank of 
England staff for the first quarter, as published in the May Quarterly 
Inflation report. 
     But an upturn in wages, long-awaited by the Bank's Monetary Policy 
Committee, has failed to materialise. According to minutes of the Bank's 
May rate-setting meeting, MPC members noted that a "range of survey 
indicators suggest pay growth will rise further in response to the 
tightening labour market." 
     Total weekly earnings increased by an annual pace of 2.5% in the 
three months to April, the slowest pace since the three months to 
November of 2017, below the MNI median forecast, down from a 2.6% gain 
in the previous three months. 
     Despite inflation receding in April, real wages, including bonuses, 
rose by just 0.1% in the latest period, matching the outturn of the 
first quarter. 
     However, the Office for National Statistics uses the CPIH measure 
to discount nominal wages, which slid to an annual rate of 2.2% in 
April, 0.2 percentage points below the CPI measure targeted by the Bank 
of England. When discounted by CPI, real total wage growth remains 
negative, according to a National Statistics official. 
     Excluding bonuses, regular earnings, before adjusting for 
inflation, improved by an annual pace of 2.8% in the latest three month 
period, below the MNI median of a 2.9% gain, down from 2.9% in the 
previous period. 
     Job vacancies rose by 2,000 in the three months to April to 
818,000, reversing a decline in the first quarter, the first fall since 
the three months to July of 2017. 
     The jobless rate fell to 4.2% in the month of April, according to 
experimental data, from 4.4% in March. 
     The more up-to-date claimant count declined by 7,700 in May, 
leaving the associated unemployment rate at 2.5%, unchanged from April. 
     The claimant count for April was revised to show a 28,200 rise, 
compared to the 31,200 increase reported last month, the biggest 
increase since July of 2011. 
-London bureau: 44 (0) 203 865 3812; email:

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