Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
16 August 2022

UK real wages have fallen at a record rate

Earnings remain below their 2008 level after falling 3 per cent over the past eight months.

By Afiq Fitri

The real value of UK wages has fallen at a record rate and remains below 2008 levels, according to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today (16 August).

During the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, real-pay growth for UK workers – the difference between earnings and inflation – fell to a low of -2.7 per cent in September 2011. But the latest figures from the ONS suggest that the current economic crisis has broken that record, with wage growth falling by approximately 3 per cent between October 2021 and June 2022.

In the three months to June, annual pay growth, excluding bonuses, rose by 4.7 per cent, while growth including bonuses was 5.1 per cent but both were outpaced by inflation, which has surpassed 9 per cent.

Nye Cominetti, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “This squeeze has come about despite robust pay growth and a lively jobs market, with pay settlements strengthening slightly, and almost a million people moving jobs in the last three months.

“There is no evidence yet of big wage-price spirals, rising unemployment, or a major return to work brought about by falling household incomes. Whether these trends materialise in the months ahead will help determine the scale and distribution of the latest economic crisis.”

[See also: Don’t Pay UK: What happens if I refuse to pay my energy bills?]

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs
Flooding is a major risk for our homes

Topics in this article: , , ,