British households are facing an intense squeeze on living standards as earnings growth fails to keep pace with soaring energy bills and the rising cost of a weekly shop, with inflation at the highest rate since the early 1980s.
Average wages in the UK are falling at the fastest rate for more than two decades as annual pay growth fails to keep pace with the rising cost of living despite record numbers of job vacancies and low unemployment.
The Office for National Statistics said annual growth in regular pay, excluding bonuses, fell by 4.5% in April after adjusting for inflation – the biggest fall since comparable records began in 2001.
Average total pay, including bonuses, fell by 3.7% in the month after taking into account of inflation as measured by the consumer price index, in a more modest decline thanks to a boom in payouts in the finance sector, highlighting the uneven impact of the cost of living crisis, amid the threat of strike action on the railways and other industries amid bitter pay disputes, average pay in the public sector rose by just 1.5%, compared with 8% in the private sector.
“This is really grim news on pay and is only likely to get worse,” said Tony Wilson, the director of the Institute for Employment Studies. “Despite the tightest labour market on record, nominal pay is broadly flat meaning that rocketing inflation is leading to the largest cuts in real pay in at least two decades.”
Average UK wages fall at fastest rate for more than two decades | Pay | The Guardian
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