Employees Benefiting From Fastest Wage Rise In 10 Yrs
Having the right qualifications certainly helps people acquire jobs that are tailored to their skillset, and therefore, likely to pay them more. And the focus on educating young people in the UK and equipping them with the appropriate skills and certificates for their desired career seems to be providing dividends, as the government has revealed wages are increasing at a rapid speed.
The Department for Work and Pensions recently announced that salaries are rising at the joint-fastest rate in a decade, and wages had outpaced inflation for the eleventh consecutive month by February 2019.
Speaking on the recent Labour Market Statistics, minister of state for employment Alok Sharma said: “Our pro-business policies mean we have started the new year with a strong labour market.”
The report showed regular pay in nominal terms had increased by 3.4 per cent over the year, rising from an average of £512 per week in December 2017 to £527 in December 2018.
In addition to wage growth, changes to the government’s Budget means 2.4 million families in the UK are able to keep £630 extra a year from their salaries.
The figures also showed that there are more people in work now than ever before, with the country’s employment rate at a record high.
Between October and December 2018, the employment rate was 75.8 per cent, with 32.6 million people in work during this period. This is an increase of 167,000 from July to September and a huge 444,000 more than during the same three-month period in 2017.
This high employment rate is greater than the 75.2 per cent it was between October and December the year before, and represents the joint-highest rate since records began in 1971.
Despite these positive figures, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) still believes the government needs to do more to help those looking for jobs and already in employment in the UK.
It highlighted the fact that while wages have increased, they are still 1.9 per cent lower than they were a decade ago in real terms.
Furthermore, the TUC noted that 844,000 workers are still on zero-hour contracts, which means they could be worse off than they were a few years ago.
TUC’s general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Millions don’t have the security of a solid job, because the government won’t crack down on insecure work.”
She stated: “The government must put its power behind workers’ needs. We need a plan to restore job security and wages, with new laws to outlaw shady employment practices.”
The impending exit of Britain from the European Union (EU) could also have a big impact on the employment sector, with Ms O’Grady saying: “The Prime Minister’s reckless Brexit strategy is causing many employers to take flight.”
She commented that a no-deal Brexit must be ruled out in order to keep employers in the UK protected and their workers’ rights in tact.
While it is positive news that Britain’s employment market is currently faring well, the TUC’s concerns emphasises the need for people to pursue further education and enhance their skillset. This will make them more indispensable to employers, which means they are not only able to command a higher wage but also are less likely to lose their jobs should Brexit cause businesses to shake up their workforce.
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