Number of days lost to worker strikes in 2020 highest since 1989

The number of working days lost as a result of industrial action, more commonly known as strikes, was 843,000 in December, which brought the total number of strike days from June to December 2022 to 2,471,000.  Official figures have confirmed that this is the highest number since 1989.

There were 4,129,000 days lost to strike action in 1989 as a result of industrial action by rail workers and coal miners, the Office for National Statistics confirmed.

The loss of working days as a result of labor disputes in December is the highest since November 2011.  This was largely due to pension strikes in the public sector.  November lost 997,000 working days to strikes.

In spite of the data that shows wages are increasing,  workers are still earning less as their pay rises failed to keep pace with inflation of 10.5%.

Wage rises were split between private companies in the public sector and government ran countries in the public sector.  Those in the private sector enjoyed higher pay increases.

Those in the private sector had their pay increased by 7.3% in comparison to 4.2% in the public sector.

Unemployment remained consistent at 3.7%, a small increase from a low not seen since 1974.

The number of people who are not actively seeking work, who are referred to as economically inactivity, decreased to 21.4% from 21.7% in the previous three-month period. This is still higher than the pre-pandemic figure of 20.2%.

The economic inactivity rate went down by 0.3 percentage points on the quarter, to 21.4% in October to December 2022.

Labour’s shadow chancellor responded to the figures by saying;

“Britain has huge potential – but 13 years of the Tories has left real wages down, families worse off, and our economy lagging behind on the global stage. The government needs to stop sitting back and following this path of managed decline,” Rachel Reeves said.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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