British workers have seen their first real pay rise in a year, as average wage growth overcomes the fading inflationary effects of the Brexit vote.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, average weekly earnings excluding bonuses rose by 2.8% in the three months to February, unchanged from the three months to January. The figure missed economists’ estimates for average pay growth to reach 3%.

UK wages and inflation figures
UK wages and inflation figures

But despite stalling pay growth, the latest snapshot from the labour market comes after inflation dipped to 2.7% in February, reflecting the waning impact of the fall in the value of the pound straight after the EU referendum.

Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: “The labour market continues to be strong, and for the first time in almost a year, earnings have grown slightly after inflation has been taken into account.”

The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 4.2% in the three months to February, hitting the lowest level seen since 1975. The employment rate, which measures the number of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work, rose to 75.4%, which was the highest level since comparable records began in 1971.

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