Real wages still down over £100 a week in some parts of the North West

Date published: 14 December 2018

Pay packets are worth over £100 a week less in some parts of the North West than in 2008, according to new analysis published by the TUC.

The analysis shows which local authority areas have suffered the biggest hit to real wages (wages once the cost of living has been taken into account) since the crash.

People working in Fylde have the most ground to make up. They are still earning 23% less in real terms than a decade ago – the equivalent of £153 a week.

There have been sharp falls across the region in both poor and affluent areas.

Real wages are still lower than a decade ago in 34 of the region’s 43 local authority areas. And only four areas have seen the value of wages increase by 5% or more since 2008.

The analysis shows that as a result of pay not keeping pace with the cost of living, the average worker in the North West has lost out on £14,230 in real earnings since 2008.

UK workers are suffering the longest real wage squeeze in more than 200 years, with average pay packets not set to recover to their 2008 level until 2024.

The UK is only of two advanced economies (along with Italy) where real wages are still lower than a decade ago.

TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “The government has failed to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis. As a result, many families across the region will be worse off this Christmas than a decade ago.

“While pay packets have recovered in most leading economies, wage growth in the UK is stuck in the slow lane.

“Ministers need to wake up and get wages rising faster. This means giving all public sector workers the pay rise they have earned and giving unions the right to bargain in more workplaces.

“And it means boosting the minimum wage to £10 an hour as soon as possible.”

"The numbers in the North West also tell a story - local economies that are trying different things such as Preston and Salford are starting to see improvements in pay. Places like Fylde, having suffered during the recession, have now taken a second hit as well-paid jobs in manufacturing and public services have been lost."

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