High inflation is prolonging the living standards squeeze for those in severely insecure work

Image of a newspaper headline saying inflation.

Responding to the CPI inflation figures for June 2023 released by the Office for National Statistics, Ben Harrison, Director of the Work Foundation at Lancaster University, said:

“While it is positive to see inflation falling, it remains stuck above 7% for the 16th consecutive month.

“This is prolonging the living standards squeeze that has been a particular disaster for the 6.2 million people in severely insecure work. While we have seen above inflation pay rises for finance workers, sectors such as retail and hospitality – where many insecure workers are employed – are lagging behind.

“Not only are half of insecure workers earning less than Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Minimum Income Standard of £25,500 per year, but Work Foundation research shows that one in three are uncertain on how much they’ll earn over the next three months. That’s because those in insecure work are four times more likely to see their shifts change at the last minute which often carries a pay penalty.

“These latest inflation figures will put the Bank of England under pressure to keep interest rates high. Any further mortgage and rent hikes could be a hammer blow for those stuck in insecure and low-paid work.”

* Statistics quoted are from Limited Choices: Why people risk insecure work, released 17 July 2023

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