London: British households received a £400 (Dh1,800 or $497) boost in the last financial year as a booming labor market lifted real incomes to a record high.
The median income after inflation rose by 1.4 per cent in the year through March to £29,400, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. It followed a year in which living standards failed to grow for the first time since the mid-1990s.
The increase came as employment hit record levels and wages outpaced inflation. Workers saw their incomes rise faster than pensioners did, though retirees have done far better since the financial crisis a decade ago. That reflects cuts to many working-age welfare benefits, while retirees enjoy a guarantee that state pension payments rise by at least 2.5 per cent a year.
The return of real income growth has boosted consumer spending and helped to keep the economy growing through the Brexit crisis.
Income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, was unchanged in 2018-19 at 32.5 per cent, the ONS said. Inequality has risen in recent years, though it remains lower than in the 1990s after it rose sharply under the premiership of Margaret Thatcher.