LONDON (Reuters) – British employers offered their staff an average annual pay settlement of 2.8% in the three months to November, up slightly from 2.7% in the three months to October, industry data showed on Thursday.

The figures from human resources consultancy XpertHR show a pick-up in pay from the average in 2019, though the firm warned against drawing firm conclusions due to the small number of firms striking deals at this time of year.

“Our annual measure of pay settlements continues to show a median 2.5% pay award during 2019. We expect employers to stay close to this figure as we head into 2020,” XpertHR analyst Sheila Attwood said.

Official weekly earnings data – which typically shows faster growth than basic pay settlements, due to the impact of job changes and promotions – showed annual pay growth slowed to a six-month low of 3.5% in the three months to October.

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