Stark challenges facing workers as inflation wipes away pay rises

pot of money

Responding to the Labour market overview December 2022 released by the Office for National Statistics, Ben Harrison, Director of the Work Foundation, said:

“Today’s figures show the stark challenges facing workers who are seeing inflation wipe away pay rises. Real wages are down 2.7% on the year with workers feeling poorer as the freezing temperatures bite and – despite Government energy support – many people are having to make tough decisions on whether they can turn the heating on.

“In this context, it is no surprise strikes are looming in the run-up to Christmas. After years of stagnating pay, the nearly 5.8 million public sector workers are being hit hardest as their wage increases of 2.7% fall short of private sector growth at 6.9%, and lag seriously behind inflation at 11.1%.

“Failure to agree fair deals for public sector workers could have serious implications for the wider economy. 417,000 working days were lost because of labour disputes in October 2022, which is the highest since November 2011. Economic inactivity continues to be high, and just under 2.5 million people report long term sickness is preventing them from working. Addressing these challenges demands investment in public services - from the NHS to specialist employment support – and that includes investment in the workers who deliver them.”

Back to News