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JRF - Workers are facing falling living standards as the real-terms pay squeeze continues

Ashwin Kumar, Chief Economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, responded to testerday's employment figures

"Workers are facing falling living standards as the real-terms pay squeeze continues. While employment is at another historic high, the 0.5% fall in real earnings means that the average worker now earns £139 less in real terms per month than they did pre-recession. Rising inflation is biting into household budgets at all levels, but the outlook for low-income families is particularly bleak. The latest inflation figure of 2.6% has been kept in check by falling fuel prices, so those who don't run a car will see higher inflation as food, clothing and household essentials rise faster than the average rate. To support people who will struggle to make falling wages stretch far enough, the Government should reverse the benefit freeze so it can keep up with inflation."

“Getting a job is a route out of poverty for many but the high headline rate masks big differences between regions, with a 10 percentage point difference between employment rates in the highest and lowest performing regions. The government must focus on making sure more and better jobs are spread throughout the UK."

UK labour market

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