Real wages continue to fall, ONS figures show

18 Oct 17

Real-terms earnings fell 0.4% compared with a year ago according to the latest labour market figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, rose by 2.1% in the three months to August – below the rate of inflation. This is the sixth month in a row that real wages have fallen.

The figures also revealed that UK unemployment fell by 52,000 in the three months to August to 1.4 million. This leaves the jobless rate unchanged at 4.3%.

There are now 32.10 million people in work, 317,000 more than last year. wages are not keeping pace with inflation, which was shown yesterday to have hit 3%.

Stephen Clarke, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Today’s figures confirm the big picture trend that the UK labour market is great at creating jobs, but terrible at raising people’s pay.

“The scale of the pay squeeze over the last decade is so vast that people today are earning no more than they did back in February 2006, despite the economy being 4.4% bigger per person since then.”

Employment minister Damian Hinds said: “We’ve boosted the income for people on the lowest pay by increasing the National Living Wage and delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years.”

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