Britain’s Labor Shortage Is Helping Drive Its Inflation Problem –


At the same time, the number of job vacancies has exploded to nearly 1.3 million, a record high.

“It’s certainly new for the U.K. to have this level of lack of availability of staff,” said Alastair Woods, head of pay and reward at PwC, who advises clients on salary matters. To the heightened competition, “money has been the answer so far,” he said.

Average wages across the country grew 4.7 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, more than twice as fast as they did in the decade before the pandemic, according to data published last week by the national statistics agency. It’s even faster once bonuses are included.

Some industries have been experiencing particularly quick wage growth. Wages for retail, restaurant and hotel workers rose nearly 8 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier. But there has also been above-average wage growth in traditionally highly paid jobs: Average earnings jumped more than 6 percent in the finance and business sector. Just a few months earlier, wage growth in the sector topped 10 percent.

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