Policy Research in Macroeconomics

How population, employment, pay, inflation, have moved since 2010

While we await Scotland’s decision on its future, I thought readers might like to see how some important elements have developed in the UK as a whole since the Coalition government took office in May 2010.

We have put together a bar chart showing in a “snapshot” the indices for: population; employment as a whole, also broken into full and part-time employment, full and part-time self-employment; regular and total pay; and CPI inflation. We are therefore not directly comparing like with like, tough there are some interesting correlations, but showing how fast or slow change has been (in % terms) in these different areas.  Of course it shows that pay has fallen way behind inflation, and it shows that total employment has risen a bit faster than total population – but not much faster.

Indices of emp, pop, pay inflation 2010-14

The statistics are all taken from ONS and rebased to 2010, which is shown as 100.  For employment stats we take May to July for each year. For population, it is the annual figure, rolled forward into 2014 by assuming a 600,000 increase (as in 2013).  For pay, we take July figures for each year.  For CPI, we take the July figures.

From the chart, we see that total population is estimated to have increased over the 4 years by 3.03%, while total employment (i.e. employees + self-employed) has increased by 5.12%.  Full-time employees are up by 4.71%, while part-time employees have scarcely shifted, up just 0.59%.  The bigger percentage changes are in self-employment, up 10.6%, while part-time self-employment has risen 16%.

Total wages (including bonuses) are up in cash terms 6%, while regular wages are up a bit less, at 5.4% in 4 years.  This is to compare with CPI inflation, up 11.8%.  The cumulative loss of purchasing power of regular wages (adding each year’s loss) comes to some 16.7%.

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