Wages are plummeting at the fastest rate since January 2001 when records began, new data released by the Office for National Statistics has shown.
Earnings dropped 3.4 per cent in April on the same period last year when accounting for price inflation, the figures show. This translates into real wages down by £26 per week, or £114 a month, compared to last year – the worst single month pay growth on current records.
In the three months to April, public sector workers saw their wages rise by just 1.6 per cent compared with the same period last year, while the price of everyday essentials, measured by the inflation rate, has risen by 9 per cent and is expected to soon reach 10 per cent.
Private sector workers, on the other hand, saw an average pay rise of 8.2 per cent, almost keeping up with inflation.
Greg Thwaites, research director at the Resolution Foundation, described the situation as “the deepest pay squeeze in over a decade”, adding: “Britain is in the midst of the highest inflation in four decades, and a recovery that has run out of steam.”
While March saw unemployment at a 50-year low, short-term unemployment has risen over the past few months for the first time since 2020. Total unemployment rose in April.