Finally! Wages go up faster than prices as record numbers of Brits find work

The number of working Britons has hit an all time high, and wages are going up in real terms again.

The number of people in work has reached a record high, while earnings have grown slightly above inflation for the first time in almost a year, new figures showed - writes mirror.co.uk

Employment increased by 55,000 in the quarter to February to 32.2 million, the highest figure since records began in 1971, giving a record rate of 75.4%.

Unemployment fell by 16,000 to 1.42 million, the lowest in more than a decade, giving a jobless rate of 4.2%, the lowest since 1975, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Earnings up too

Average earnings increased by 2.8% in the year to February, unchanged on the previous month and the highest since September 2015.

The latest CPI inflation figure is 2.7% and is expected to remain unchanged when new figures are published on Wednesday.

Matt Hughes, senior ONS statistician, said: "The labour market continues to be strong and, for the first time in almost a year, earnings have grown slightly after inflation has been taken into account."

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including students, those on long-term sick leave, on early retirement, or who have given up looking for work, fell by 2,000 to 8.7 million in the latest quarter, giving a rate of 21%, a joint record low.

The claimant count, which includes people on Jobseeker's Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit, increased by 11,600 last month to 855,300, the highest for more than three years.

Job vacancies remained unchanged at 815,000, while the number of self-employed workers fell for the second successive quarter - down by 18,000 to 4.76 million.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said: "Another milestone for employment has been reached under this Government as employment reaches a record high, up 3.2 million since 2010 - the 16th time the employment record has been broken in the same period.

"That means, on average, over 1,000 people have moved into work every day since 2010, and credit has to be given to the businesses who have created those jobs and the individuals who are taking those opportunities.

"Day by day we are helping people turn their lives around by getting into employment. Jobs are key to transforming lives and work is the best route out of poverty.

"And this month we have again increased the personal allowance and taken more people out of paying tax altogether, making sure people can keep more of what they earn."

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Unions have negotiated pay rises for workers across the UK, from the counters at McDonald's to the factory floor at Ford.

"But wage growth is still weak. Workers are £14 a week worse off than they were in 2007 - with pay packets not expected to return to their pre-crisis level until 2025."

Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "The continued rise in employment, coupled with a further drop in the unemployment rate, is further evidence that the UK jobs market remains in good shape, with firms continuing to recruit despite sluggish economic conditions.

"However, the rising number of hours worked indicates that the recent pick-up in UK productivity is likely to be short-lived.

"The end of a prolonged squeeze on real wage growth is an important moment, although maintaining positive real wage growth could prove challenging without sustained increases in productivity and relieving the high upfront costs which restrict pay increases.

"The return to positive real wage growth is unlikely to translate into materially stronger spending in the near term with consumers expected to remain under pressure from unc

Read more news of London on our site.

mirror.co.uk
prices Britsfindwork
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in october
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
A village famous for its new year tradition of men prancing around with flaming barrels of tar on their heads has added another unusual string to its bow, by becoming home to a museum of science fiction props - which has opened in the cellar of the curator's house. Adventures in Science Fiction is the latest historical depository to join the 2,500 museums already in the UK. And with so many to choose from, there must be a museum to please pretty much every...
Society
An “influential" black firefighter from London who experienced racial abuse at work today calls for others  to “step up and champion equality” as he retires after nearly 30 years.  Michael Nicholas MBE, who this week retired from London Fire Brigade, campaigned for equal rights in the workforce after experiencing “widespread” racism during his career. Hailing Mr Nicholas as the “UK’s most influential black firefighter” in a statement following his retireme...
Society
Would you trust a taxi with no driver? Taxi firm Addison Lee is betting its customers will be ready to, in London at least, in just three years' time. It has joined forces with self-driving software specialist Oxbotica, and says the tie-up means it will offer self-driving taxis in the capital by 2021. The move will pit it against rival ride-hailing app Uber, which is also planning to roll out driverless cars on its network in the future, pending regulatory...
Crime
A senior US military commander has called on the UK to take back Islamic State fighters who have been "caught on the battlefield" in Syria. Maj Gen Patrick Roberson, commander of US special ops, also called on the government to repatriate two Londoners who have been called the "IS Beatles". The UK says El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey have been stripped of their British citizenship. The government is negotiating for them to face trial in the US. Speak...
Society
A woman has died in a suspected gas explosion in north-west London. Her body was found in a first-floor flat destroyed in the blast in Fulbeck Way, Harrow, just before 01:00 BST Sunday. Another woman, a man and a baby were rescued from a second-floor flat, with the woman and child taken to hospital. About 70 firefighters tackled the flames and 40 neighbours were evacuated from their homes. The Met is investigating. The victim, believed to be in her 80s, ha...
Society
About 13 million adults in the UK live in areas where at least half of the local banks and building societies have closed, analysis by the BBC reveals. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show nearly 6,000 local branches have shut since 2010, a fall of a third. The consumer group Which? called the number of closures "alarming". Trade association UK Finance said closing a branch was a last resort when usage falls. Banks and building societ...
Society
A ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward by eight years to 2032, MPs have said. The government's current plans to ensure all new cars are "effectively zero emission" by 2040 were "vague and unambitious", a report by Parliament's business select committee said. It also criticised cuts to subsidies and the lack of charging points. The government said it aimed to make the UK "the best place in the world" to own an electric vehicl...
Society
London area home sales fell 15.9 per cent in September from August because of a shortage of homes to sell, and that shortage of inventory helped push up prices by 20 per cent from a year ago, the head of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said. In September, LSTAR reported 776 homes changed hands in London and St. Thomas, compared to a near-record August, when 923 homes were sold. By the numbers Homes sold in September: 776 (a drop of 6....
Society
Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, jailed for inviting support for the Islamic State group, has been released. The cleric was sentenced in 2016 to five-and-a-half years in prison. He led an extremist network linked to violent jihadists, including one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013. Choudary, 51, has now served half of his sentence and will complete the rest under strict supervision. Police are preparing up to 25 measures to control him, the BBC...