Socialist Worker

Jobless rate rise as wages fall

by Chris Bambery
Issue No. 2179

Unemployment up, inflation up and wages down – that’s the cheerful message just a month before Christmas.

The OECD club of rich nations last week predicted unemployment would hit three million next year.

Nearly a million young people are unemployed, and the number of people working past retirement age is set to double.

Just under a million are trapped in a part-time job despite wanting a full-time one – an increase of 40 percent on last year.

Inflation saw an unexpected 1.5 percent increase, caused by rising food, fuel and transport costs, all of which hit the low-paid hardest.

Increasing oil prices and the fall in the pound’s value, which makes food and other imports more expensive, means inflation could rise further in coming months.

This comes as a third of all new wage agreements in the last three months were pay freezes – and the Tories’ clamour for a public sector wide pay freeze is growing.

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Tue 24 Nov 2009, 18:05 GMT
Issue No. 2179
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