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Biggest squeeze for public sector pay in 20 years - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

Biggest squeeze for public sector pay in 20 years

Public sector pay for jobs such as NHS workers, teachers and civil servants fell further behind price rises in the three months to February, figures show.

While wages rose for public sector workers, price rises outpaced them meaning a 3% drop in spending power, the biggest fall in 20 years.

In contrast, an average private sector employee's wage bought 0.5% less.

The latest inflation figures show the cost of living is rising at its fastest pace for 30 years.

"Basic pay is now falling noticeably in real terms," said Darren Morgan from the Office for National Statistics describing the fall in spending power.

The most recent figures show that inflation reached 6.2% in February and new data, due out on Wednesday, is expected to show a further rise in March.

The ONS said the unemployment rate fell to 3.8% from 3.9% last month.

The number of job vacancies reached a fresh high of 1.29 million between January and March - a rise of 492,400 roles compared with the pre-pandemic first three months of 2020.

The ONS said the highest rate of vacancies was in construction, which rose by 18.7% in the first three months of the year. Sectors such as hotels and food services, including restaurants, and entertainment saw job openings increase by 13.1%.

However, there was a fall in demand for people in the gas and electricity sectors where vacancy rates dropped by 14%.

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