UK workers experienced sharpest wage fall of any leading economy

01 August 2016

According to new analysis published by the TUC, UK workers have suffered the biggest fall in real wages among leading OECD countries,

The analysis shows that between 2007 and 2015, real wages in the UK fell by 10.4% – a drop equalled only by Greece.

By contrast, over the same eight-year 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 UK, Greece and Portugal were the only three OECD countries which saw real wages fall.

The analysis also shows that while the UK has increased employment rates since the economic crisis, countries such as Germany, Hungary and Poland have increased employment rates significantly more, while raising real wages at the same time.

Commenting on the figures, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Wages fell off the cliff after the financial crisis, and have barely begun to recover. As the Bank of England recently argued, the majority of UK households have endured a ‘lost decade of income’. People cannot afford another hit to their pay packets. Working people must not foot the bill for a Brexit downturn in the way they did for the bankers’ crash.

This analysis shows why the government needs to invest in large infrastructure projects to create more decent, well-paid jobs. Other countries have shown that it is possible to increase employment and living standards at the same time.”