The economy is growing again, but this growth hasn’t yet led to the pay rises that will end the squeeze on living standards that has strained household budgets in recent years. Businesses believe that growth must make a positive difference to everyone in Britain, so action is needed to get pay packets growing again and make sure that nobody is left behind in the jobs market.
The CBI recently published research showing that while the UK has a better long-term record on pay rises than any other major economy, its productivity is a long way behind these other countries and this is preventing faster wage growth. There is much that British businesses must do to improve productivity and close the gap to other countries, and it’s more about how smartly we work rather than for how long or how hard.
The research also found that who you are has too great an impact on your opportunities. Whether you can get a job, increase your pay and avoid unemployment in the future are influenced by your background. It showed having the right skills is the key to work and higher wages, but also that disadvantaged groups like many ethnic minorities and women too often fall behind.
Businesses must take the lead in meeting both of these challenges. There is a lot of good practice out there already and later this year the CBI will be highlighting the best of what works in the UK and abroad to show what more businesses can do to create the jobs and wages that will raise the living standards of everyone in the country. You can read the report here.