According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), real wages fell for the sixth consecutive month in October. With inflation growing all of the time and increasing the cost of the things that all of us buy, the money in our pockets is worth less every month. And with business uncertainty meaning that employers are reluctant to give out above inflation pay rises, it can leave the employee in an uncomfortable position.
What Can be Done?
Despite the increasing business uncertainty, companies are still continuing to create more jobs, in part due to a diminishing pool of candidates and a skills crisis in particular areas such as IT. The fall in net migration is also opening up opportunities in some sectors, so if you have the skills, now might be the time to see how much they’re worth on the open market.
Higher salaries are often available to new recruits, as are hourly or contract rates for those that want a little more flexibility.
What are the Risks?
Despite stagnating wages, there can be benefits from staying in an existing role, especially if the company is steady and the wage is a reliable one. But how long will it take for resentment to set in when you see how much other companies value the skills that you possess?
One thing is for certain, instability and volatility will persist until the Government provides some stability around Brexit, but while this is bad news for wage increases, it could be good news for those that can afford to play the jobs market in order to find a better financial situation.