Wages rises cancelled out by inflation as discontent amongst public sector workers grows

Striking nurses © Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

Responding to the Labour market overview January 2023 released by the Office for National Statistics, Ben Harrison, Director of the Work Foundation, said:

“Today’s figures underline why we are seeing such a level of discontent amongst public sector workers, and why many continue to be concerned regarding the economic outlook for 2023.

“Inflation continues to cancel out wage rises with real pay down 2.6% on the year, and this is most harshly felt by the public sector workforce who are receiving increases of just 3.3% compared to 7.1% in the private sector. It’s vital that Ministers recognise the pressures facing public sector workers and urgently resolve pay disputes so that yet more days are not lost to strike action.

“The UK employment rate is 1.0 percentage points lower than before the pandemic and economic inactivity remains higher. While both main parties have begun to set out ideas to support more people into jobs, there is no magic tap to increase the size of the UK workforce or improve the quality of jobs on offer. Doing so requires long-term investment and reform, including more cross Government action to make employment services more inclusive and effective, and an Employment Bill to strengthen worker rights and protections.”

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