November 15, 2017 / 9:35 AM / a year ago

UK employment falls in third quarter, pay growth lags inflation again

LONDON, (Reuters) - The number of people in work in Britain fell by the most in more than two years in the three months to September, a latest sign of weakness in Britain’s Brexit-bound economy, official data showed on Wednesday.

At the same time, the inactivty rate - a measure of people not in work and not seeking a job - rose by the most in nearly eight years, the Office for National Statistics said.

The data showed the unemployment rate held at a four-decade low of 4.3 percent as the number of people in employment fell by 14,000 and pay growth remained much slower than inflation.

The ONS said workers’ total earnings, including bonuses, rose by an annual 2.2 percent in the three months to September, compared with 2.3 percent in the three months to August.

That was weaker than the latest 3.0 percent reading of British consumer price inflation.

Economists taking part in a Reuters poll had expected wage growth of 2.1 percent.

Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 2.2 percent year-on-year in line with expectations.

Reporting by William Schomberg and Estelle Shirbon

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