Wages: catch-up needed

Submitted by SJW on 28 March, 2018 - 5:36 Author: Rhodri Evans

At least briefly, average wage rises have caught up with prices. Just.

Over the three months to January average weekly earnings grew 2.8 per cent compared to one year earlier. That was exactly the same as the official rate of inflation.

It means only that we have stopped going backwards, and started to stand still. And maybe only for a short while.
Earnings growth reached a temporary peak of 2.9 per cent in March 2010, and another peak of 3.2 per cent in May 2015. In 2015-6 wages consistently, though only slightly, outpaced prices for a while.

But then they fell behind again. Wages are still some 3 per cent below 2007.

Total working-class earnings are still further behind, because of the cuts in benefits, and are still lagging more and more.
Unemployment remains low, and workforce participation rates high. Profits are strong. The unions should be making a concerted push on wages.

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