Bosses say jobs market is healthy but unions say ‘real pay growth is now slowing down’
Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “We welcome the overall increase in employment but are concerned that wide regional differences in the numbers of people in work remain.
“It is also worrying to see that rising living costs are quickly catching up with wage growth. If this trend continues, the Government's abysmal record on living standards will get even worse.“
The Confederation of British Industry's Rachel Smith said: “Pay growth remains stubbornly sluggish, which is a concern given rising inflation. There are tentative signs that productivity is picking up but there is further to go before it can underpin faster wage growth.
“Companies will be looking to the Budget to see adjustments to business rates along with measures to boost educational performance, helping firms to drive faster productivity growth.”
Pay growth remains stubbornly sluggish, which is a concern given rising inflation
Rachel Smith – CBI
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: “With prices rising faster, real pay growth is now slowing down. This will be worrying for families whose have still not seen their living standards recover following the financial crisis.”
James Taylor, of the Scope charity, said: “While it is positive that 292,000 more disabled people are in work and the disability employment gap has reduced, there are millions more who aren't.
“A decrease of 2.8% is only a small dent towards the Government's commitment to halve the disability employment gap.“
Latest figures show 292,000 more disabled people are in work
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Suren Thiru, of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Overall, with employment levels rising and unemployment still falling, the latest figures confirm that the UK jobs market is in good health.“
Laura Gardiner, of the Resolution Foundation, said: “Today's figures show the jobs market remains robust, with employment reaching a new record high and inactivity starting to fall again.
‘The latest figures confirm that the UK jobs market is in good health’, says Suren Thiru
“However, the encouraging news on jobs isn't feeding through into earnings, which have shown no sign of responding to fast-rising inflation. Unless this changes Britain is set for a fresh pay squeeze later this year.”
Doug Monro, of jobs site Adzuna, said: “The employment rate is now at its highest level since records began 46 years ago, meaning you have to go back to the days of T Rex and Slade topping the charts to remember a time when more people were in work.”