Rachel Gomez, Economist at Pro Bono Economics, said:

“With recession on the horizon, these latest figures show the national pay squeeze has crept into its 13th month as regular earnings are now 3.9% less in real terms than this time last year. The discrepancy between private sector and public sector pay growth has been widely noted, but so too should lagging pay growth in the charity sector.

“Economic inactivity in the UK continues to rise in certain regions, especially in the North East, Wales and Northern Ireland, where it is at its highest. In the past year, inactivity has been growing the most in Wales, up 1.8 percentage points. This inactivity has driven a 1.7pp drop in employment in Wales over the last year, the greatest fall in employment nationally.

“Across the UK, there are charities providing the specialist employability support that is so badly needed to bring people back into the workplace, especially those with mental ill health who would otherwise work. This is an opportunity for policymakers to bring together this network of charities with specialist expertise to design a programme focused on increasing participation and supporting employers to reach those furthest from the job market.”