Scepticism

Employment has supposedly gone up to record levels and the tories are patting themselves on the back for it.

With it, we get the news that wage growth is up at 2.1%.

But we had 2.x% wage growth in 2010 and 2011; it’s only 2012-2014 that it really tanked down to ~1%, and now it’s just come back up to 2010 levels (at which point it was already considered low). The main difference now is that since inflation has unexpectedly plummeted, it suddenly sounds like a good deal, but this is mostly down to international oil prices and have nothing to do with the conservatives.

If we really have reached record employment levels then in the space of a few years we’ve gone from record unemployment to record employment, and should therefore be seeing a very, very sharp upturn in wage growth as employers find it harder to fill positions and have to offer a better deal. So far, all we’ve really done is reclaim the ground we lost two years ago.

It is unfortunate this has happened in the months preceding a general election.

To demonstrate a little, this morning I received some recruitment spam for PHP developers with “strong experience”, offering £23k. The only people with “strong experience” this could be appealing to are people who have been unemployed a long time, because anyone who isn’t unemployed should be earning at least that amount. So if unemployment is at record lows, this position has absolutely no chance of being filled. There’s a similar C# developer position for 20-28k. If unemployment was low, why would anyone waste their time interviewing for a position starting at £20k?

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