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Professor Geraint Johnes

A recovery that is struggling to sustain itself

Authors: Professor Geraint Johnes

17 September 2014

Commenting on today's labour market statistics, Geraint Johnes, director at Lancaster University’s Work Foundation said:

Almost half of the increase in employees over the last quarter is accounted for by an increase in part-time employment, a gain of 30,000. This reinforces concerns that many people are underemployed and would like to work more hours than they currently supply. It also suggests that there remains significant spare capacity in the labour market.

Wage growth is still very sluggish at 0.7%, and well below the rate of price inflation at 1.5%. This means that real wages are still falling. The absence of any significant sign of wage pressure indicates that any skills shortages are very sector-specific and that, taken as a whole, again reinforces a large measure of spare capacity in the labour market.

Productivity remains stagnant. We might expect to see this rise somewhat as the benefits of increased business investment come through over the next few months, though the environment is still challenging.”

/Ends

Notes to editors

1. Ian Brinkley, chief economist is available for interviews, blogs, briefings, analysis, and written comment.
2. The Work Foundation transforms people’s experience of work and the labour market through high quality applied research that empowers individuals and influences public policies and organisational practices. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.

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