Figures released on Wednesday show that British workers’ pay growth is barely keeping up with inflation.
Earnings rose by an annual 2.3 percent in the three month period to February.
On Tuesday we had learned that consumer price inflation stood at 2.3 percent in the 12 months to March.
For Dec-Feb 2017 wages, after inflation, up 0.2% on a yr inc bonuses and 0.1% exc bonuses, weakest growth since 2014 https://t.co/00HTZzteRH— ONS (@ONS) April 12, 2017
The stats illustrate how British households are grappling with rising prices in the shops.
After a long period of little inflation in the UK, consumer prices have risen sharply recently.
The situation has been exacerbated by the plunge in the value of the pound against other currencies following the vote to leave the European Union, as well as by rising global oil prices.
At the same time the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the unemployment rate in the period between December and February held steady at an almost 12-year low of 4.7 percent.
“The big picture remains a labour market with very strong employment plateauing at record highs … combined with a pay disaster,” Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation think tank, said.
Real pay looks set to have fallen in first quarter of 2017, six months ahead of schedule forecast by OBRpic.twitter.com/FcT44GP2qB— Torsten Bell (@TorstenBell) April 11, 2017
The number of people in work increased only modestly by 39,000 although the employment rate of 74.6 percent was a joint record high. Job vacancies in the three-month period to the end of March rose by 16,000 to a record high 767,000.
British workers are becoming more reticent about moving jobs as the process of leaving the European Union gets underway, exacerbating long-standing skill shortages, a survey of recruiters showed last week.