Action call as inflation outstrips wage rises

Average wages in South Tyneside are being outstripped by inflation as the cost of living crisis begins to bite, new figures show.
Wage values fall.Wage values fall.
Wage values fall.

The latest Office of National Statistics data shows median pay in the area was £1,960 a month in August, up from £1,841 a year before.

That means wages have risen by 6.5% in the last 12 months – but inflation was, last month, running at 9.9% and was 10.1% the previous month.

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Nationally, median monthly wages have also risen by 6.5% in the last year to £2,111, but still represents a real-terms pay cut thanks to soaring inflation.

Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Every worker deserves a decent standard of living, and as the cost-of-living crisis intensifies, millions of families don’t know how they will make ends meet this winter."

Ms O'Grady urged Mrs Truss to increase pay packets, including boosting the minimum wage, giving public sector workers a decent pay rise, and allowing unions to negotiate better compensation for working people.

Greg Thwaites, research director of think tank Resolution Foundation, said the only "chink of light" is last month’s slight fall in inflation.

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Unemployment also continued to fall nationally, reaching 3.7% in the three months to July.

In the North East, it stood at 4.5% – down from 5.1% the year before.

Despite the fall in unemployment, economic inactivity rose to 21.7% across the country – it was at 25.3% in the North East.

Mr Thwaites said: "Instead of the cost-of-living crisis tempting people back into work, more people are exiting the jobs market altogether, primarily due to poor health".