The Guardian — Britain has suffered a bigger fall in real wages since the financial crisis than any other advanced country apart from Greece, research shows.
A report by the TUC, published on Wednesday last week, shows that real earnings have declined more than 10% since the credit crunch began in 2007, leaving the UK equal bottom in a league table of wages growth.
Using data from the OECD’s recent employment outlook, the TUC found that over the same 2007-2015 period, real wages grew in Poland by 23%, in Germany by 14%, and in France by 11%. Across the OECD, real wages increased by an average of 6.7%.
The TUC found that between 2007 and 2015 in the UK, real wages – income from work adjusted for inflation – fell by 10.4%. That drop was equalled only by Greece in a list of 29 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The UK, Greece and Portugal were the only three OECD countries that saw real wages fall.
The TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, who was a vocal backer of the campaign to remain in the EU, said the figures highlighted the strains on household finances even before the vote for Brexit.
The Treasury said the TUC study did not fully reflect living standards, which were also affected by changes to taxes and benefits. It added that the number of people in work had been rising and was above the levels of early 2008, when the economy entered its longest and deepest postwar recession.
“This analysis ignores the point that following the great recession the UK employment rate has grown more than any G7 country, 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.”