The puzzle of rising UK wages reveals an unprecedented and tragic truth

Average pay seems to be up but only because so many low-paid jobs are being lost and thus no longer counted

US president-elect Joe Biden has nominated two fantastic, highly qualified female labour economists, both of whom I have known for a quarter of a century, to senior posts. Janet Yellen, previously chair of the Federal Reserve, as the first female Treasury secretary, and Cecilia Rouse, dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs, as the first African-American to chair the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. Janet previously held the job under Bill Clinton. This is great news.

In her acceptance speech Yellen argued: “The value of work always stuck with me. So much so that I became an economist because I was concerned about the toll of unemployment on people, families and communities. And I’ve spent my career trying to make sure people can work and achieve the dignity and self-worth that comes with it.”

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