Socialist Worker

Workers hit by falling pay and rising prices

Figures released last week show how the economic crisis is already impacting on workers

Issue No. 2199

Figures last week showed:

•Prices are rising at 3.4 percent a year in Britain. At the same time the typical public sector pay deal is running at less than 0.5 percent.

In the private sector “rises” are typically between 1 and 2 percent—although a third of workers face a total freeze.

That means workers’ living standards are falling sharply.

•The number of people unemployed in Britain rose 43,000 to 2.5 million during the three months to February.

Youth unemployment is rising, with 929,000 16 to 24 year-olds out of work.

•Britain’s economy grew by just 0.2 percent in the first three months of 2010. This is down on the 0.4 percent expansion in the final three months of 2009 and half of what analysts had expected.

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