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Christian debt charity flags wage struggle despite record employment levels

Tue 14 Aug 2018
By Eno Adeogun

A Christian debt charity has warned many people are struggling financially despite official figures released on Tuesday showing a record number of people are employed.

UK unemployment fell by 65,000 to 1.36 million in three months to June - the lowest for more than 40 years. The number of people in work increased by 42,000.

However, the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revealed that there has been a slowdown in wage growth.

 

Phil Haggis, Christians Against Poverty's (CAP) job club manager in Glasgow told Premier: "What we find is that the basic wage is not going up as fast as inflation. People struggling financially are making decisions about whether to heat the house or to buy food."

Job vacancies increased by 20,000 to a record high, while average earnings increased by 2.4 per cent in the year to June.

The number of workers on zero-hours contracts fell by 104,000 to 780,000, the first substantial fall since the ONS started tracking the figures in 2000.

Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: "The number of people in work has continued to edge ahead, though the employment rate was unchanged on the quarter."

Haggis highlighted despite befits like Universal Credit, people in employment are still barely able to cope financially.

"I think some people are struggling to manage that money and it's going to be a big thing coming up because everyone who's currently not on Universal Credit and is on Job Seekers (Allowance) is going to be put onto Universal Credit and they're going to have to reapply and I think when that time comes, a lot of people are going to struggle.

Listen to Phil Haggis speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:

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