Seven years of wage falls

West Midlands workers would be over £80 a week better off had pay risen at pre-recession rate

This is the seventh year that average weekly earnings have been falling – the longest period since records began in the 1850s, says the TUC.

Workers in the West Midlands would be over £80 a week better off if real wage growth had remained at its pre-recession rate, according to new analysis published by the TUC (Nov14).

The analysis shows that even using the government’s preferred inflation measure (The consumer prices index), which excludes housing costs, workers in the region would be earning £80.20 a week more had pay continued to rise at 1.9 per cent a year  after the crash.

The TUC says the analysis shows how much working people’s living standards suffered during the recession and how pay has failed to recover during the recovery.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said that average weekly earnings have fallen by around 10 per cent in real terms since the financial crisis.

The TUC analysis highlights how much better off working people would be if real wages had risen at their pre-recession rate.

Midlands TUC Regional Secretary Lee Barron said: “Workers in the West Midlands would be over £4,000 a year better off had age growth remained at its modest pre-recession rate.  

Instead, pay has fallen off a cliff and shows little sign of recovering any time soon. Ordinary households are not sharing in the recovery and are facing their seventh consecutive year of real wage cuts.

Families in the West Midlands are struggling to make ends meet. They are having to increasingly rely upon credit cards, running down savings and many are falling prey to pay day lenders. It is clear that unless the West Midlands gets a pay rise soon the region’s personal debt problem will get even worse.  The continued erosion of pay and decimation of living standards for millions of workers in the public and private sectors is becoming the sad, sorry story of our age.”


Impact of pre-recession rate on real wages in the West Midlands:



Actual Real Wages

If real wages had increased at 1.9%

Weekly cash difference (2013 prices)

Annual cash difference






Source: TUC analysis of Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings

– The pre-recession rate is the average annual rate for the years between 1999 and 2008. The recession began in the spring of 2008, and annual rates cannot be calculated before 1999 using ASHE (Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings) data.


TUC: only 1 in 40 new jobs are full-time

The TUC has released research (13-11-14) showing that only one in forty jobs created since the recession is full-time.

Much has been made of growth and unemployment in the news recently, with official figures showing unemployment having fallen below 2m. However, stagnant wage growth has posed a challenge to the spin around the figures.

Now, the TUC has revealed that only one in forty new jobs created since the recession is a full-time post.
The number of full-time jobs has fallen by 669,000 since 2008 and part-time workers now make up 38% of the workforce. Underemployment – part-time workers who desire a full-time job to maintain a decent standard of living – now stands at 1.3m, double what it was pre-recession.
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