Average annual earnings in the UK gained a little ground on rising inflation in August as labour market data showed earnings increased by 2.2% from a year earlier.
Creeping up from 2.1% in July, the 2.2% growth still left average annual earnings trailing inflation by 0.8 percentage points, as consumer inflation in September rose to 3% from 2.9% in August.
Household spending squeeze
Although the earnings data lags the inflation data by a month, it would be highly unlikely for earnings to close the gap significantly on inflation over the September period, so pressures on consumer spending remain.
Business have blamed the uncertainties surrounding Brexit negotiations and other political unknowns for keeping a lid on capital expenditure and other budgetary spending including wage increases.
Elsewhere in the report, the data revealed that the unemployment rate stood at 4.3% in August -unchanged from July's figure, even though the claimant count - representing the number of unemployed people in Britain - rose by 1,700.
"Job vacancies are on the rise and this gives hope to jobseekers and employees that choice and freedom within the labour market still exists, even though salaries are struggling against a tide of rising inflation," said Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna.
Sterling slipped in reaction to the earnings data. The pound fell 0.1% against the euro to €1.1201 and was 0.2% weaker versus the dollar at $1.3158.
By mid-morning in London, the FTSE 100 index was trading 0.3% higher at 7,538.42.