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8 August 2022

The top 1 per cent are the only group whose pay has grown faster than inflation

Pay growth at the top has reached 11 per cent while the bottom tenth of earners have seen their wages rise by just 1 per cent.

By Katharine Swindells

UK inflation has reached the highest level for 40 years (9.4 per cent) and is now forecast by the Bank of England to surpass 13 per cent this year. Living standards are now being squeezed as wages fail to rise in line with prices, but the experience of the highest and lowest paid in society is markedly different, analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) finds.

Since March, median wages has grown at an annual rate of around 6 per cent, significantly below consumer price inflation (CPI), while the bottom 10 per cent of earners (who earn less than £680 a month) have endured annual wage growth of just 1 per cent.

Meanwhile the highest earners in the country, those in the 99th percentile, are the only group who have experienced above-inflation wage growth this year – in March their average monthly pay saw year-on-year growth of 11 per cent. Their monthly salary is now more than £14,000.

“Although variation in wage growth performance between different income groups is to be expected over time, the stagnation in pay among the poorest workers is coming at a time of extraordinary price rises and their ability to dip into savings is usually limited,” writes Cebr's chief executive Nina Skero. 

“For months, Cebr has been saying that additional support which is very narrowly targeted at the poorest households (including those in work) will be necessary if they are to avoid worsening hardship.”

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[See also: How UK energy bills are set to surge again]

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