Earnings rise slower than inflation

purse moneyThe average income of someone living in the UK has increased at a rate lower than inflation for the fifth consecutive year, the Office for National Statistics has identified.

According to the ONS, the average net income per person last year was £27,000, which marked a 2.1% rise from the year before.

However, the rise in inflation during the same time was gauged to be 2.4%, giving the clearest evidence yet that Labour claims of household ‘squeezes’ are true.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has repeatedly reiterated the sentiment that there is not a broken link in the country between economic growth and living standards, arguing that the declining value of actual wages and the high levels of personal debt meant that previous financial patterns were no longer applicable to the UK.

During the decade leading up to 2008, statistics illustrated that the average income increased by more than inflation during ever year, meaning that the standard of living was raised people in the UK.

Conversely, a sharp increase in the average weekly income during the past year has not resulted in any real standards of living, implying that Mr Miliband’s remarks have been valid and accurate.

Sexism continues

The ONS also released figures that implied that the gap between male and female pay had actually augmented rather than shrunk in the past year, despite numerous campaigns to change the complexion of this area.

Last year, the difference between average pays of the two sexes was 9.5%, with the news being met with a positive reception for being the fifth consecutive decrease.

However, this figure has risen to 10% this year, provoking TUC secretary, Frances O’Grady to tell ministers to be ‘ashamed’ for their lack of substantial work in bringing about gender equality.

“This year has seen a shock rise in the gender pay gap after years of slow, steady progress,” said Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC.

“Ministers should be ashamed of presiding over this latest dismal record on pay,” she said.
There was however more positive data on part time female workers whose income increased by 3.1%, a rate actually faster than that of inflation.

The results mean that when it comes to part time employment, females are still persistently being paid far more than men.

Last year the average part time female earned £164 each week, whilst men earned only £149.

Farmers boosted

The ONS disclosed that farmers were the greatest beneficiaries of wage rises last year, with their average income rising by 22%.

Undertakers, travel agents and barristers all enjoyed a significant increase in their annual income with pay soaring by 20%, 17% and 16% respectively.

People working in the glass and ceramic industry however were particularly hard hit last year with their incomes decreasing by a sizeable 13% in the financial year between 2012 and 2013.

The ONS had yet to give any reasons for why the farming industry was bolstered last year, though the continual decline in the glass industry is no surprise considering the stagnant sale levels and exports in recent times.