Companiesandmarkets.com

UK workers earning no more than 10 years ago

Press Release   •   Feb 14, 2013 12:33 GMT

Workers in the UK are earning no more than they were 10 years ago, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Median real wages peaked at £12.25 per hour in 2009, but by last year they had slumped 3% to £11.21 per hour, roughly the level of a decade ago.

The damage was done by high levels of inflation and a rolling series of meagre company pay settlements since the financial meltdown, the ONS said.

Private-sector workers in London are paid more than the national average but they experienced a more severe squeeze over the past three years than those in the rest of the country, leaving them worse off than a decade earlier.

The real average earnings of male full-time employees in the capital was £16.14 per hour in 2002, but in 2012 that had fallen to just £15.54, a 4% decline.

If incomes now rise by just over 1% above inflation, it will take until 2023 for people to regain the living standards they had in 2008, when the recession began.

The outlook for those whose incomes have been squeezed may not be much better. It could be another 10 years before living standards return to the levels they were at before the recession, according to a report from the Resolution Foundation, a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of those on middle and low incomes.

It says many people in this section of society could face a permanent hit to their expected levels of prosperity.

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