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Regular pay, excluding bonuses, grew by just 4.7 percent over the three months to June.

The Office for National Statistics said it meant a 4.1 percent drop for employees once CPI inflation is taken into account.

Workers in retail, hospitality and restaurants saw the sharpest pay increases, at an average of 7.7 percent, as employers have hiked wages in a bid to solve staff shortages.

Official figures also showed that the number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 73,000 between June and July to 29.7 million.

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “The number of people in work grew in the second quarter of 2022, whilst the headline rates of unemployment and of people neither working nor looking for a job were little changed.”

“Meanwhile, the total number of hours worked each week appears to have stabilised very slightly below pre-pandemic levels.”

“Redundancies are still at very low levels.”

“However, although the number of job vacancies remains historically very high, it fell for the first time since the summer of 2020.”

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said the figures show the jobs market is in a “strong position” with unemployment lower than at almost any point in the past 40 years.

“Good news in what I know are difficult times for people,” he added.

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