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Commenting on the latest employment figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today (Tuesday), which show payroll employees up on pre-pandemic levels, but self-employment down by 759,000 and the level of real pay falling for six months since April, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

Commenting on the latest employment figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today (Tuesday), which show payroll employees up on pre-pandemic levels, but self-employment down by 759,000 and the level of real pay falling for six months since April, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:  

“It is good to see jobs were recovering – but the situation has changed since these figures. The omicron variant is spreading fast, and the economy is slowing. We need a plan B to protect jobs and livelihoods now. 

“Ministers should introduce a permanent short-time working scheme – like furlough – and provide additional support for hard-hit sectors like travel, manufacturing, hospitality, retail and the arts. 

"Working people deserve a decent standard of living and a wage they can raise a family on. But real pay growth is declining. Too many workers are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table this Christmas. We urgently need to get pay rising across the economy.” 

New analysis published yesterday (Monday) by the TUC found that UK workers are facing the worst Christmas wage squeeze in nearly a decade. Today’s figures show monthly real pay declining for the sixth month in a row. 

Editors note

- Today’s labour market statistics are available at:…;
- The TUC wage analysis is available at:  
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

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