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UK pay settlements hit more than 10-year high in October: XpertHR

LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - British employers offered the largest annual pay rises to staff in more than 10 years during the three months to October, though industry data provider XpertHR warned against drawing broad conclusions due to the small number of deals in the period.

Median annual pay settlements in the three months to October - a period when just 43 pay reviews were reported - jumped to 2.8% from 2.5% in the three months to September, their highest since December 2008.

"A handful of higher-level deals have inflated the median," XpertHR said.

The 12-month average for pay rises remained at 2.5%, and many employers said they expected this to remain a benchmark for their next pay rises.

Official measures of wage growth, which tend to exceed the XpertHR measure due to promotions and job changes, hit an 11-year high of 3.9% in the three months to July but have fallen back a bit since then.

The Bank of England has warned that pay growth is likely to slow, despite the lowest unemployment rate since 1975, as there are signs that the labor market is softening, such as falls in job vacancies and new hiring. (Reporting by David Milliken Editing by William Schomberg)

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