All posts by Ken Mulkearn

Labour market remains in mostly good shape

The ongoing recovery in the UK labour market looks to have continued in the first quarter of 2016, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. Employment continues to rise, albeit at a slower rate than during 2015, and unemployment also fell marginally, though it still remains above the important milestone of 5%. Continue reading Labour market remains in mostly good shape

Viewpoint: Is the Government flexible on pay?

Government policy on pay usually has little direct influence over the private sector. But the current official limit of 1% on public sector pay awards, which has been in place since 2010, has arguably played a part – alongside reductions in public spending – in damping down pay pressures in the wider economy. The policy has of course been made easier to maintain by the fact that inflation has been relatively low over most of the period. Continue reading Viewpoint: Is the Government flexible on pay?

Settlements in brief: April pay awards show rise in proportion of higher-end increases

Our next detailed analysis of pay settlements will appear in our regular Pay Climate e-bulletin at the end of the month. However, ahead of this we took a look at the figures to see what they might indicate. The figures for the three months to March, based on some 70 awards, show a median of 2%, and a fairly narrow interquartile range between 1% and 2.5%. The average is the same as the median, at 2%. Continue reading Settlements in brief: April pay awards show rise in proportion of higher-end increases

Inflation to return to an upward trend?

shutterstock_361657682The all-items Retail Prices Index rose to 1.2% per cent in the year to December 2015, up from 1.1% in the year to November. The main factor behind the modest rise in inflation is transport costs, particularly air fares but also, to a lesser extent, motor fuels. Air fares usually rise by around a fifth at this time of year. However this year they rose by almost a half, reflecting strong demand from consumers. Meanwhile petrol prices fell, but by less than a year ago, producing an upward pressure on inflation. Looking at downward effects, food prices continued to fall, but this was not sufficient to offset the upward effects from air fares and petrol. Continue reading Inflation to return to an upward trend?