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Average Wages Plummet By More Than 13%


Average gross earnings across the United Kingdom have plummeted by more than 13 per cent since the start of the economic crisis in 2008, according to a revealing new report.

A study of official earnings data, published by the Office for National Statistics, by the GMB union found that workers have seen a drop in real-terms gross take home pay of an average 13.6% in just seven years, with London being the hardest hit.

The real value of earnings fell by a shocking 23.2% in London in the seven years to April 2015, but every single region of the UK has seen a fall in average earnings since 2008.

In April 2008 the mean gross annual earnings for all employees in the UK was £31,494, according to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, growing to £33,689 by the end of April this year (2015).

However, the cumulative rate of inflation between April 2008 and April 2015 was 20.6%, compared to average wages which have only increased by £2,195 or just 7% – a gap of 13.6%.

Workers in London have experienced the biggest fall in average earnings of all twelve regions in the UK. The South East has seen the second largest drop of 16%, followed by the East Midlands (15.7%) and Yorkshire and The Humber (14.9%).

Average earnings in the North West fell by 12.4%, West Midlands 11.8%, East 11.5%, Wales 11.3%, South West 10.6%, Scotland 6.7%, North East 5.0% and Northern Ireland 4.9%.

GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny said “While we have seen a growth in the number of workers as the population has grown average pay has simply not kept pace with inflation.

“Since 2008 the cumulative inflation has been 20.6%. During this period pay in the UK has gone up by 7% which has left the pay of the average full-time worker in the region down by 13.6% in real terms.

“This has had a deflationary impact on the economy and has also impacted on the tax take by the Chancellor to pay for essential public services.”

He added: “In the autumn statement the Chancellor predicted that the economy would grow steadily each year to 2020 when it would be 12% bigger than now.

“Workers in the UK will want to see that growth translating into pay rises above inflation to make up the lost ground.”

The twenty worst affected areas are as follows:

  • Hammersmith and Fulham 52.6%,
  • Islington 35.1%,
  • Camden 29.3%,
  • Southwark 28.3%,
  • Ealing 26.6%,
  • Surrey 26.0%,
  • Bedford UA 25.6%,
  • West Berkshire UA 24.2%,
  • Warrington UA 23.5%,
  • Greenwich 23.4%,
  • Tower Hamlets 22.6%,
  • York UA 22.3%,
  • Denbighshire 22.1%,
  • Buckinghamshire 21.8%,
  • Blackburn with Darwen UA 21.4%,
  • Sheffield 21.0%,
  • Sutton 21.0%,
  • Bromley 20.1%,
  • Stirling 20.1%
  • Salford 19.8%.

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