Employment figures increase by record-breaking 350,000 in three months, but earnings are down
Emily Dugan is Social Affairs Editor for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday. She was previously a news reporter for The Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards. Emily is on sabbatical until March 2015
social affairs correspondent
Wednesday 11 June 2014
The number of people in work has leapt by a record 350,000 in the three months to April, but wages have slumped below inflation which has sparked concerns over levels of pay.
While the Government celebrated the new jobs, there was evidence this was an austerity recovery. The Office for National Statistics recorded a decrease in the rate of earnings growth – meaning that in real terms wages are down.
The wage growth rate slowed to 0.7 per cent from 1.9 per cent the previous month, bringing it behind inflation, which is currently at 1.8 per cent.
The TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “It’s great that more people are joining the workforce but hugely worrying that workers are still not getting the decent pay rises they need to get by.”
The rise in employment means there are now 30.5 million people in work, and represents the biggest increase since records began in 1971.
Esther McVey, the minister for employment, said: “As we build a stronger economy, businesses up and down the country are feeling increasingly confident about creating jobs, meaning many thousands more people are in work every day – ensuring a better future for them, their families, and for the country as a whole.
“Helping young people to get a job is vital to securing our economic future, so it’s welcome that youth unemployment has continued to fall.”
The figures show the make-up of the workplace is changing, with a significant fall in public-sector jobs in the last quarter, taking them to their lowest level since the figures were first collected in 1999.
In total, public-sector employment fell by 103,000 in the last quarter to 5.4 million. The loss of public-sector jobs was partly attributed to Lloyds staff being reclassified as private-sector employees. However, 27,000 of the jobs lost were in local government.
Unison’s general secretary, Dave Prentis, said: “Today’s employment figures once again paint a sorry story for public-sector workers and all who rely on local services.”
The shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, said: “While this fall in overall unemployment is welcome, working people are over £1,600 a year worse off than when David Cameron came to office and pay has fallen behind inflation.
“Thousands of people who work hard are struggling to make ends meet because of the Government’s failure to make work pay. That’s led to a staggering 60 per cent increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit because they can’t afford their rent, costing taxpayers an estimated £4.8bn.”
- 1 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 2 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 5 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
The biggest ranch in America, larger than the whole of London, has gone on sale for $725m
Melissa McCarthy's brilliant response to one sexist question posed to her on the red carpet by a male reporter
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...