Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wot Recovery (3)

A record five million UK workers are now in low-paid jobs, research from a think tank suggests. Those earning less than two thirds of median hourly pay - equivalent to £7.69 an hour - rose by 250,000 to 5.2m last year, the Resolution Foundation said. The report said there was a serious problem of people being stuck in low-paid jobs, with almost one in four minimum wage employees still on that rate for the last five years.

The Resolution Foundation's chief economist, Matthew Whittaker, described the figures as "troubling". He said: "While recent months have brought much welcome news on the number of people moving into employment, the squeeze on real earnings continues. Being low paid, and getting stuck there for years on end, creates not only immediate financial pressures, but can permanently affect people's career prospects.”

Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O'Grady said many of the jobs created in the last few years "were very much of the low-paid, casual and zero-hours variety. This risks many people and their families simply being left behind, unable to share in any benefit from the economic recovery," she added.

Workers in Britain were more likely to be low paid than workers in comparable economies like Germany and Australia,  the report said.

Meanwhile, profit warnings by UK-listed firms have risen to their highest summer level in six years. It is the highest level for the three-month period to 30 September since 2008. Profit warnings are issued by companies quoted on a stock market to alert investors that profits will be lower than in the previous year. Firms were facing crowded and competitive markets.

Supermarket giant Tesco and retailer Next were among the companies to issue profit warnings during the period. The construction and materials industry issued a high number of warnings because older contracts have come under intense margin pressure due to rising costs.

The consultancy firm EY, said: "Profit warnings have continued apace from the third into the fourth quarter. This implies that at best companies and markets are misreading the post-crisis economy and are struggling to adapt to rapid structural changes, and at worst have once again over-estimated the pace and nature of this recovery." 

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