Labour market analysis, 15 August 2023

Responding to the labour market stats release by ONS on 15 August 2023, Stephen Evans, chief executive of Learning and Work Institute, said:


15 08 2023


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The first rise in real regular wages for 19 months, and more likely ahead as inflation falls, is unlikely to provide sufficient respite to hard-hit households. The fastest nominal wage growth on comparable records dating back to 2001 may concern the Bank of England and support the case for further interest rate rises. But more generally a fall in the employment rate, rise in unemployment and drops in vacancy levels all suggest a slowing labour market, with much of the impact of previous interest rate rises still to come. The bigger picture is that employment is still below pre-pandemic levels and real wages are £11,000 per year below their pre-financial crisis trend. And the pain is being felt unevenly, with people working in finance and business services seeing the fastest wage increases. We need a plan for growth that recognises that those with the least have generally been affected the most by the current economic stagnation.