Workers across the UK are getting less money in their pockets at the end of every month as regular pay in real terms fell by 2.4% in November to January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The rate of UK unemployment stayed at 3.7% — the same as in the previous three-month period — and only a slight increase from a low not seen since 1974, the ONS said.
Regular pay excluding bonuses grew by 6.5% in November to January. Private sector workers saw a pay lift of 7% on average, while the public sector was at 4.8%. This was the highest growth for the public sector since early 2006.
Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 5.7% but that still isn’t enough to prevent a loss in real terms as the UK’s rate of inflation stands at 10.1%.
This means that prices are rising fast than any pay, squeezing UK households’ incomes.
The number of job vacancies in the UK fell for the eighth month in a row between December and February to 1.1 million, official figures indicated.
The figures come a day ahead of Wednesday's budget when chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to set out plans to encourage people back into work.