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Britain still waiting for wage recovery despite strong employment figures

Britain still waiting for wage recovery despite strong employment figures

News that real average wages have fallen further behind inflation means Britain's workers are still awaiting a recovery in their earnings, the independent Resolution Foundation has said.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that average wages (excluding bonuses) rose 1% comparing May to July 2013 with the same period a year ago. This is well below the current rate of inflation, 2.8% CPI and 3.1 per cent RPI. The average weekly wage is £447.

The weak performance of wages contrasts with more positive employment statistics. They show unemployment falling by 105,000 in the past year, to 7.7% - down 0.4% from a year earlier. Comparing the period May to July with a year ago, there were 275,000 more people in employment.

James Plunkett, director of policy at the Resolution Foundation, said: "The continuing tumble in real wages means we're still waiting for any sign of an end to the squeeze on earnings. Even optimistic forecasts would suggest it will be years, not months, before we can expect wages growth to outstrip the rising cost of living. The economy is showing signs of strength in jobs creation but sadly this has yet to be matched by earnings and, until it is, any recovery can only be partial at best."

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George Bailey