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HomeBusinessJanuary strikes cost UK 220,000 working days.

January strikes cost UK 220,000 working days.

Teachers’ walkouts had the most significant impact on the education industry. As double-digit inflation persisted, public sector wage growth lagged behind that of the private sector, but overall, workers continued to experience a pay reduction in real terms.

In January, a total of 220,000 working days were lost due to industrial action, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

In the first month of this year, teachers, transport workers, driving examiners, bus drivers, and NHS employees went on strike.

January strikes cost uk 220,000 working days.
January strikes cost uk 220,000 working days.

Compared to the 822,000 days lost to strikes in December 2022, this number is lower.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%, the same as last month and only a minor increase from the 1974 low. Economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted that the rate would rise to 3.8%.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, reported that the number of working days lost to strikes decreased in January compared to the extremely high level observed in December. However, many days were still lost, with education suffering the most.”

Despite unemployment remaining low, the number of job openings decreased by 51,000 to 1,1 million from December to February for the eighth consecutive period.

The decline reflects industry-wide uncertainty, as ONS respondents cited economic pressures as a reason for postponing or halting hiring.

The unemployment rate returned to pre-pandemic levels. From November to January, the number of individuals claiming redundancy increased to 3,3 per thousand workers.

From November to January, pay, including bonuses, increased by 5.7%. Despite wage increases, however, employees are earning less.

Real pay, including bonuses, fell 3.5% because wage and bonus growth lagged behind rising goods prices.

According to the most recent official data, inflation stands at 10.1%, indicating that individuals are effectively earning less.

Pay increases varied across the economy, with private sector salaries continuing to outpace those of the public sector.

The average pay increase for private-sector employers was 7%, whereas the average increase for public-sector employees was 4.8%.

The economic inactivity rate decreased to 21.3% between November 2022 and January 2023, from 21.4% in the preceding three-month period. The decline was driven by individuals aged 16 to 24.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, the number of people who were neither working nor seeking employment for a variety of reasons had increased to more than nine million, or roughly one in every five adults of working age.

In response to the data, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt stated, “The labor market remains robust, but inflation remains unacceptably high.” For wages to go further this year, we must adhere to our plan to halve inflation.

“Tomorrow at the budget, I will outline how we will take additional steps to curb inflation, reduce debt, and expand the economy, including by assisting more people to find employment.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, added, “The Tories’ abject failure to support people back to work has resulted in 234,000 fewer people being employed than before the pandemic.

“While other main economies have rebounded, the British economy languishes under the Conservatives, and families pay the price.

“Labour’s welfare reforms to get Britain back to work have led the fight of ideas. We will help individuals find employment and create new, quality jobs in every region of the country.”

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