Average annual earnings growth slowed over the past 6 months while real average earnings plummeted
In a further sign of the disconnect between the tight labour market and wage rises, the latest average earnings data released today shows that average ordinary full-time earnings grew just 1.9% in the past year. That level is lower than the 2.6% increase in the wage price index.
The average earnings figures are more subject to changes in hours and worker composition than is the wage price index, but given hours worked increased solidly across the economy in the past year, it is surprising that the earnings growth is not greater.
While the total average earnings growth (which includes both full-time and part-time workers) of 3% is above that for full-time employees, that also represents a fall from the 3.8% annual growth in the 12 months to November 2021.
The weakness of the growth is made clear by the fact that it is below the average 2.4% growth from 2014-2020. Thus the current growth is worse than during the period when wages growth was slowing to record lows.
Given the rise in inflation it also means real average earnings fell in all categories, for both men and women.
Male full-time average earnings fell in real terms by 3.9% while for women the fall was 3.8%.
All up it means total average weekly earnings of $1,344.70, when adjusted for inflation is now back at the level it was at the start of 2013.