Andrew Haldane: Pay power

Speech by Mr Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bank of England, at the Acas "Future of Work" Conference, London, 10 October 2018.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
11 October 2018

It is great pleasure to be here at the Acas Annual Conference whose theme this year is the "Future of Work". It is a particular pleasure to have Brendan Barber as Chair. As a member of the Bank of England's Court between 2003 and 2012, Brendan's insights on the labour market and wider economy were crucial in helping the Bank steer a policy course through a period of first macroeconomic calm and then extra-ordinary macroeconomic storm following the global financial crisis.

It is the labour market that I want to discuss today. We have seen an unusual pattern emerge here over recent years. Jobs growth has been strong, with over 2 million new jobs created since the end of 2012. But pay growth has remained weak by historic standards, averaging around 2% annually. This pattern has been replicated across a number of other advanced economies. As we reach the anniversary of what has become a "lost decade" for inflation-adjusted pay in the UK, it is a good time to take stock.