Latest figures show scale of 'Britain's long-running disaster on pay'

By agency reporter
September 12, 2018

Britain has seen a tepid pay recovery emerge in recent months, with strengthening but still very weak wage growth, the Resolution Foundation said in response to the latest ONS labour market statistics.

Latest figures show employment growth ground to a halt in May-July 2018, with a 55,000 fall in unemployment more than matched by a 110,000 rise in economic inactivity, driven by rising sickness and ill-health.

Nominal wage growth rose slightly to 2.9 per cent, only the second time it has hit this level since June 2015, with real wages growing by 0.5 per cent as a result. The Foundation notes however that real wage growth has not hit one per cent since 2016, and three per cent since 2003, emphasising the size and scale of Britain’s long-running disaster on pay.

Stephen Clarke, Senior Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Employment growth stalled this summer, with a further fall in unemployment outweighed by the single biggest move in the jobs market – people leaving it altogether.

“While Britain continues to enjoy near record employment levels, the key benefit of historically low unemployment – stronger pay growth for those already in work – is only slowly materialising.

“A tepid pay recovery has emerged in recent months but overall wage growth remains anaemic, while average pay packets are still £12 a week lower than they were when Lehman Brother collapsed a decade ago.”

* Resolution Foundation


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