Small pay rise, big debt rise

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

As promised, there was a lot more discussion about the labour market in last week’s Economic and fiscal outlook from the OBR.

This chart shows how the income distribution has shifted over the last four years. Most of the increase in employee numbers has come from lower wage jobs. Although the number of employees has increased, there are fewer people earning over the equivalent of £30,000 than there were in 2010.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 10.51.58

These figures are based on ASHE numbers so they don’t include the self-employed. If this level of detail about self-employed earnings were available, the chart would be even more skewed towards the lower end.

The OBR expects wage growth to return next year although, as the Resolution Foundation pointed out, it has been saying that next year will be the year of the pay rise since 2010.


It must be right this time though. Economic growth of 3 percent must surely feed through…

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