UK job vacancies and numbers employed both hit record highs

Shortage of skilled staff helps raise pay but wage growth still lags behind inflation, official figures show

The pressure on employers to find skilled staff appeared to push up wages by more than expected in November as UK job vacancies reached a new peak.

City economists had expected the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit talks to limit wage rises, excluding bonuses, to 2.3%, the same rate as in October, but they increased to 2.4% in the three months to November. The figure rose to 2.5% when bonuses were included.

Related: Brexit helped push down living standards in 2017 – experts debate the data

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Construction startup Katerra gets $865M in Softbank’s latest mega-round

 There’s another big financing round led by Softbank’s mammoth vision fund today, with the firm this time pouring $865 million into a construction startup called Katerra that’s a one-stop shop for getting a building up off the ground. Katerra is creating a full-stack provider for, well, buildings. The company runs the process of getting a building up and people inside it from… Read More

Sterling hits $1.40 for first time since Brexit vote

Upswing in global growth bumps up the pound as UK economy proves resilient despite concerns over leaving the EU

The pound has reached its highest levels since before the Brexit vote, as a Guardian analysis of economic news over the past month shows the economy benefiting from an upswing in global growth.

Sterling surged against the dollar on Wednesday, extending gains in the past month to hit more than $1.40 for the first time since the June 2016 referendum, after fresh figures showed employment hitting its highest levels since the 1970s when modern records began.

Related: Consumers are being squeezed – two views from monetary policy committee insiders

Related: How has the Brexit vote affected the economy? January verdict

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10 Wednesday AM Reads

My midweek morning Florida0-based reads: • Ray Dalio teaches Cycles 101: Boom, then bust. Repeat. (Credit Writedowns) • Kansas Provides Compelling Evidence of Failure of “Supply-Side” Tax Cuts (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) • Business schools have a problem with fintech (Financial Times) see also Banks and Fintechs Are Duelling In a ‘War For Talent’ (Bloomberg) • 3 Ways to Improve…

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