Record wage growth driven by finance and business sectors, as millions continue to see inflation wiping out pay increases

Two supermarket workers stacking shelves.

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

“Today’s figures shows that record wage growth is being driven by finance and business services sector at 9.4%, while workers in the public sector (6.2%) and other sectors like retail (6.3%) are still seeing inflation of 7.9% wipe out any pay increases they are receiving. The cost of living crisis is far from over for the majority of workers.

“With unemployment rising by 109,000 this quarter and an increase in companies filing for insolvency, people in low paid and insecure work will be nervously looking over their shoulders – Work Foundation research shows that 42% of workers in insecure work expect to lose their jobs within the next year.

“Meanwhile economic inactivity due to long-term sickness stands at a record 2.58 million. We are potentially still over 12 months away from the next General Election, and action to tackle these issues can't wait. In particular, the Government should signal now that it intends to extend cost of living support this winter, while also strengthening job security and flexibility via a new Employment Bill.”

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