Jim Armitage: Forget the doom-mongers — Britain’s in for a sweet yearComments Off on Jim Armitage: Forget the doom-mongers — Britain’s in for a sweet year
Figures today showed a fall in jobless and wages rising at a pace not seen since 2012.
Even the hawks at the Bank of England have realised their arguments for raising interest rates are bogus in the face of zero inflation.
But does the supposed wage increase really feel like that in most people’s pay packets?
Perhaps not — particularly if you’re among the thousands of City workers finding out your “comp” numbers are down on last year.
And it’s not just bankers failing to enjoy the wages the Office for National Statistics suggests. This is in part because the ONS takes an average of the whole country’s weekly pay.
And because of the increase in the numbers of people getting back into work over the past couple of years, the pattern of that average shifted towards more bottom-rung-of-the-ladder jobs. That in turn pressed down on the average pay pot.
Now those people have been in work for a while, their wages have risen as they get more experienced, pushing up the average across the country.
That’s great for them, but hasn’t meant much for the rest of us.
Having said that, the economic numbers are going in the right direction, and fast. Falling unemployment will soon mean bosses must push through pay rises for everyone to avoid those “If you won’t pay me, I’ll hop off” chats.
Simultaneously, petrol prices will fall for most of the year, energy bills are falling and a supermarket price war is just getting underway.
All reasons to be cheerful, unless — like Labour — you’re fighting a May election on the cost of living crisis.