These are the areas of Lancashire doing best when it comes to benefits claims and employment

Britons have seen pay rises fall behind soaring inflation at a record pace as the cost-of-living crisis hits UK households, official figures say.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 9:38 am

The Office for National Statistics revealed that regular wages excluding bonuses fell by 4.5 per cent in April when taking Consumer Prices Index inflation into account – the biggest fall since records began in January 2001.

It comes as inflation hit a 40-year high of 9 per cent due to soaring energy and fuel bills amid the impact of the Ukraine war.

The ONS data showed that, in the three months to April, regular pay excluding bonuses fell 3 per cent after the impact of inflation – the biggest fall since November 2011 – despite a 4.2 per cent rise in average earnings.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Pay has fallen further behind inflation new figures show, but the number of people claiming work-related benefits in Lancashire has fallen in May

But the number of UK workers on payrolls rose by another 90,000 or 0.3 per cent between April and May to 29.6 million.

The unemployment rate edged up slightly to 3.8 per cent in the three months to April, from 3.7 per cent in the previous three months, though it remained close to 50-year lows.

Job vacancies also rose to a new record of 1.3 million despite a further slowdown in the rate of growth, while the redundancies rate hit a new low of 2 per cent in the three months to April.

Locally, the monthly employment situation improved, with fewer people in Lancashire claiming work-related benefits in May.

In Blackpool North and Cleveleys, there were 2,750 people claiming benefits, a figure down 2.1 per cent on May 2021. Blackpool South saw 3,955 claim, down 3 per cent on last year and Preston had 3,785 claimants, down 2.1 per cent.

Chorley had 1,820 claiming, down 1.4 per cent, Fylde had 1,430 claimants, down 1.7 per cent, while Lancaster and Fleetwood had 1,845 claiming, down 1.6 per cent on May 2021.

In Ribble Valley, there were 1,205 claiming, a figure down 1.2 per cent, South Ribble had 1,300, down 1.2 per cent, while Wyre and Preston North had 940, a figure down 1.2 per cent on May 2021.

Sam Beckett, head of economic statistics at the ONS, said the figures “continue to show a mixed picture for the labour market”.

She said: “While the number of people in employment is up again in the three months to April, the figure remains below pre-pandemic levels.

“Moreover, although the number of people neither in work nor looking for a job has fallen slightly in the latest period, that remains well up on where it was before Covid-19 struck.”

The ONS said those classed as economically inactive fell by 39,000 in the quarter, but remained high at 8.8 million, due mostly to older workers choosing to retire early throughout the pandemic, which has led to a shrinking labour market.