The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that UK wage growth has rocketed to 3.6% in the year to May 2019. This is the fastest rate we’ve seen wages growing since pre-financial crisis in 2008.
In fact, inflation has been outpaced by wages for over a year now!
Amidst Brexit uncertainty, it is great to see growth in wages, showing that not all is falling apart.
What has caused the speedy growing of wages?
Well, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage both increased in April this year. Of course, this has had a positive impact on the statistics for wage growth.
Lowest-paid workers in certain industries will benefit from the new rates, especially workers in retailing, wholesaling and hotels.
Amy Thompson, Legal Assistant in our Attercliffe Office, pointed out how promising it is that more workers are benefiting, even the lowest-paid.
“This is good news as it shows that these workers are being seen as equal to everyone else, as they should be”, Amy said.
Plus, some NHS staff have had pay-rises too, further catalysing wage growth rates.
A societal positive to take from the ONS figures is that employment rates are starting to even out between men and women.
Recent employment figures show that, for men, the rate was 80.2%, while the rate for women was 72%. This is the joint highest employment rate for women since records began… way back in 1971.
Amy also commented: “This, once again, shows a refreshing element of societal equality within the figures.”
Where does Brexit come into it?
Of course, Brexit chaos is bound to have an impact in some way.
Unfortunately, vacancies are at their lowest point in the last year due to employers’ cautiousness to hire.
However, Amy believes that businesses should be as brave as they can and not hold back from hiring.
On the upside, Ian Stewart, Chief Executive at Deloitte, is optimistic because wages are rising and unemployment is falling.
“The jobs market seems to have defied gravity”, he expressed.
Amy added: “Higher wages and lower unemployment rates is great news, especially because living has become more expensive over the past few years; buying a house is harder, for example.”