UK unemployment falls further as wages lag behind prices – POLITICO

LONDON – Unemployment in the United Kingdom stood at 3.8 percent between December 2021 and February 2022, down 0.2 percentage points Counting out Tuesday from the Office for National Statistics.

Experimental wages data for March also showed continued job gains despite skyrocketing inflation and global economic uncertainty.

Meanwhile, more and more people are giving up looking for work, the ONS warned, and with the exception of bonuses, real wages have lagged far behind inflation.

“While unemployment has come back down, we are still seeing increasing numbers of people withdrawing from the labor market and, because they are not working or not looking for work, are not counted as unemployed,” said Darren Morgan, head of economic statistics at the ONS, in a statement. “While strong bonuses continue to mitigate the impact of rising prices on people’s overall income, base pay is now falling significantly in real terms.”

British Chancellor Rishi Sunak commented positively on the data, telling the media in a statement: “Today’s statistics show the continued strength of our labor market, with employment picking up again in March and unemployment falling further below pre-March levels Pandemic has dropped levels.”

For its part, the Labor Party has attacked the government for not doing enough to support workers’ living standards. “Today’s figures show that conservative decisions are putting pressure on real wages and people are worse off,” said Pat McFadden, Labor’s chief secretary under the Treasury, criticizing Sunak for “making Britain the only major economy where workers with higher taxes land a livelihood crisis.”

Ex-bonus wage growth was 4 percent, while inflation is expected to exceed 8 percent in the coming months. UK unemployment falls further as wages lag behind prices - POLITICO

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