Commenting on the latest release from the ONS Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:
“The fall in employment with an increase in inactivity is just the latest disappointing figure to be released about our labour market. For too long positive headline economic data has been used by politicians to avoid dealing with the harsh realities of our economy. Hopefully today’s figures will help sharpen the Chancellor’s mind about the state of the labour market which is scarred with insecurity and low quality work. The impact of low quality work is having a negative effect, not just on workers, but the wider economy, as evidenced by the sharp rise in hospitality sector vacancies.
“Today’s figures only serve to highlight the pressure that exist on living standards, with another real terms drops in earnings of 0.5% compared with last year. This coupled with yesterday’s news that food inflation rose by 4.2% last month compared to 12 months earlier only serves to underline how difficult things are becoming for people across Scotland and the UK.”
“When the Chancellor delivers his budget on 22 November he must take real action to tackle poverty and increase living standards. Pay rates across the public and private sectors are simply too low, and the Chancellor cannot continue to rely on consumer debt to drive economic growth. We must see wages rise and lifting the public sector pay cap and delivering a real terms pay increase for public sector workers is the first step. “
For more information, please contact Dave Moxham on 0141 337 8100 or Sarah Wiktorski on 0141 337 8122