- Labour Market Uncertainties
The latest ONS estimates suggest the annual growth rate of average weekly earnings was 6.0 per cent in the third quarter of this year, marginally higher than our tracker predicted last month.
Today’s estimates also suggest that real regular pay in the UK fell by 2.7 per cent, lower than the 3.0 per cent record fall in the second quarter but remaining among the largest falls in growth since comparable records began in 2001.
NIESR’s wage tracker now predicts that average weekly earnings will grow at 5.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of this year, slowing in line with the expected labour market cooling.
For the third consecutive month, the figures today show the largest disparity in public and private sector wages outside of the pandemic period, where private sector regular pay grew by 6.6 per cent while regular pay in the public sector grew by 2.2 per cent.
In September, 205,000 working days were lost to strikes ？ this compares with 273,000 lost in the whole of 2018 (the last year for which we have data). While this pales into insignificance compared with the figure of 2.5 million days per month recorded during the ‘winter of discontent’ in 1979, it is nonetheless a clear signal that industrial action will make its mark on the UK economy in the coming months.