UK September average weekly earnings +3.0% vs +3.0% 3m/y expected

Latest data released by ONS – 13 November 2018

  • Prior +2.7%; revised to +2.8%
  • Earnings ex-bonus +3.2% vs +3.1% 3m/y expected
  • Prior +3.1%
  • ILO unemployment rate 4.1% vs 4.0% expected
  • Prior 4.0%
  • Employment change +23k vs +25k expected
  • Prior -5k
  • October jobless claims change 20.2k vs 18.5k prior
  • October claimant count rate 2.7% vs 2.6% prior


The headline reading is as expected, rising to the strongest pace since September/Q3 2015, meanwhile the ex-bonus reading is a beat relative to expectations, and that’s the strongest rise since Q4 2008. The September reading for the ex-bonus alone was +3.2% y/y.

A very muted reaction in the pound though with cable holding steady around 1.2905 still, rather unchanged from before the data was released. The unemployment rate takes a little shine off the report but the employment change rising by 23k means that employment levels reach 32.41 million which marks the highest level since the records began in 1971.

Put that statistic together with the wages data, it’s overall a good report. But as mentioned in the build up here, it’s not going to be a game changer with the focus of attention still being on Brexit. Now that we have this out of the way, I would expect the pound to stay pressured as long as Brexit headlines fail to suggest that a deal will be done this week.

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