Wages continue to lag behind inflation as fewer claim unemployment benefits across Lancashire

Britons saw their pay packets continue to lag behind inflation despite a slight rise in earnings, official figures show.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 12:30 pm

The Office for National Statistics said regular wages excluding bonuses fell by 3.7 per cent over the three months to May against the rate of consumer price index (CPI) inflation – the biggest slump in 20 years.

This was despite regular pay, excluding bonuses, rising slightly to 4.3 per cent for the period without taking inflation into account.

It comes after CPI inflation hit a 40-year record of 9.1 per cent in May.

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Pressure on wages came as figures showed the number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 31,000 between May and June to 29.6 million.

Across Lancashire, the number of people claiming work-related benefits such as Universal Credit in June fell slightly compared to last year.

In the Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency, there were 2,655 people claiming benefits in lieu of work or to top up low wages, down 1.7 per cent on June 2021.

In Blackpool south there were 3,790, down 2.1 per cent, while in Preston there were 3,705, down 1.8 per cent.

Chorley had 1,380 claimants, down 1.0 per cent, Fylde had 1,380, down 1.0 per cent, while Lancaster and Fleetwood had 1,750, down 1.0 per cent.

South Ribble had 1,280, down 0.9 per cent, Ribble Valley had 1,170, down 0.9 per cent and Wyre and Preston North had 915 claimants, down 1.0 per cent on June 2021.

David Freeman at the ONS said: “Today’s figures continue to suggest a mixed picture.

“The number of people in employment remains below pre-pandemic levels and, while the number of people neither working nor looking for a job is now falling, it remains well up on where it was before Covid-19 struck.

“With demand for labour clearly still very high, unemployment fell again, employment rose and there was another record low for redundancies.

“Following recent increases in inflation, pay is now clearly falling in real terms, both including and excluding bonuses.”