UK wage growth fails to keep up with the cost of living
New figures have shown that UK wage growth failed to keep up with the rising cost of living between November and January.
Wages rose, but when taking rising prices into account, regular pay showed a 1.0% fall from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said.
It comes amid concerns that war in Ukraine will push up households’ energy and food bills even further.
According to the ONS, employees’ regular pay, excluding bonuses, grew by 3.8% between November and January from a year earlier.
However, the rising cost of food, energy, and household goods has pushed inflation, which measures how the cost of living changes over time, to a 30-year high.
Prices surged by 5.5% in the 12 months to January, up from 5.4% in December, increasing pressure on household budgets.
ONS figures stated that: ” In real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total pay was 0.1% and regular pay fell on the year at negative 1.0%.”
Many are worried about the increase to the cost of living, with those on the lowest incomes most likely to be affected by surging bills.
National insurance is also set to rise from April, making the squeeze even tighter on those worried about money.
The new figures also show that the number of jobless people in the UK has dropped below pre-pandemic levels.
The ONS said there were 1.34 million unemployed in the three months to January, below the 1.36 million recorded in December to February 2020.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in the most recent quarter, while job vacancies hit another record high.
Responding to the new figures, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I am confident that our labour market is in a good position to deal with the current global challenges.
“We know people are concerned about the rising cost of living so alongside continuing to help people find great jobs – we’re providing direct support worth more than £20bn this financial year and next.”
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