Real wage growth solid as record employment is maintained

Published on Jobs, Skills and Pay

Britain’s labour market has settled down – with employment remaining at a record high and real wages growing at a solid but unspectacular rate, the Resolution Foundation said today (Tuesday) in response to the labour market statistics.

The Foundation notes that pay growth, employment and unemployment have all remained stable in recent months, with unemployment staying at a 44-year low of 3.8 per cent in the three months to April, and real wages growing by 1.5 per cent – back in line with pre-referendum growth, though below the pre-crisis average of 2.2 per cent.

The Foundation adds that with real weekly earnings still a £5 a week lower than their pre-crisis levels, on current trends wages are on course to return to pre-2008 levels by the early 2020s – meaning that Britain is nearing the end of an unprecedented 15-year pay downturn.

Nye Cominetti, Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:

“Britain’s labour market has settled down in recent months, with employment remaining at a record high and real wages growing at a solid but unspectacular rate of 1.5 per cent.

“While even higher employment still feels within reach, a return to the levels of real wage growth experienced before the crisis remains frustratingly elusive. Achieving this would require a big shift in Britain’s underwhelming productivity growth.”