UK workers saw wages fall by 10.4 pc

UK workers wages fall

In the years since 2007/8 crash wages here fell, in Ireland they went up 1.6 pc

Workers in the UK suffered the biggest fall in wages among the world’s richest countries since the financial crisis, according to research just published by the TUC.

Between 2007 and 2015 wages in the UK fell by 10.4 per cent, a drop equalled only by Greece, it said.

The UK, Greece and Portugal were the only three OECD countries that saw real wages fall, according to the TUC. In Ireland – where, according to the OECD the average wage is $46,074, higher than the UK’s $41,384 – wages actually increased between 2007 and 2015 but by just 1.6 per cent.

Portugal (- 3.7%) was the only one other country to see a drop in wages – 3.7 per cent – during that period, while in Poland wages increased by 23 per cent, in Germany by 13.9 per cent and in Estonia by 13.4 per cent. In France wages increased by 11 per cent. Average Across the OECD during that period the average wage increase was 6.7 per cent – but below this in the Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Greece.

The TUC said women were especially hardest hit as their pay is on average 19.2 per cent less than men at the best of times.

“We need to boost pay across the board, particularly for the one in four women still facing low pay. Wages fell off the cliff after the financial crisis and have barely begun to recover,” said Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary.

She said people could not afford another hit to their pay packets, and that working people should not foot the bill for a Brexit downturn.

A Treasury spokesman said the TUC’s analysis did not take account of the fact that since the financial crisis the UK’s employment rate had grown more than any country in the G7.

“Living standards have reached their highest level and wages continue to rise faster than prices – and will be helped by the new National Living Wage but there is more to do to build an economy and country that works for everyone not just a privileged few, and we are determined to do exactly that.”

Conor D’Arcy, a policy analyst for the Independent economics think tank the Resolution Foundation said the financial climate had been particularly harsh for “millennials” – people aged 34 and under – who earned £8,000 less in their 20s than the generation that came before them.

The Foundation’s Conor D’Arcy said: “The UK has experienced the most prolonged pay squeeze in over a century in wake of the financial crisis, with young people feeling the biggest pay squeeze of all.”

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