Real wages in the UK haven’t grown since 2005 – and that’s including executive salaries

Stagnation: years ago, the Living Wage Commission said the fall in take-home pay had left millions of workers struggling to make ends meet

You’re a lot worse-off than you thought you were.

Official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that Conservative governments since 2010 have presided over the longest period of wage stagnation since the Napoleonic Wars:

Real average earnings are at the same level as they were in 2005. Then weekly pay stood at £497 — the same figure as it was in April.

Economists described the figures as “completely unprecedented”, saying that there was no comparable period since the Napoleonic war when wages had been so stagnant. They attributed the slump to the series of crises that have hit the economy over the past 15 years including the financial crash, Brexit and the consequences of the war in Ukraine. They warned that with inflation still running at nearly 10 per cent, it was likely to be about 18 months before real-terms wages began to rise again.

The figures show that, between the turn of the century and 2005, seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings rose by about 15 per cent amid a buoyant economy. They then increased more slowly, by 5 per cent, in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. The impact of that crash on public and private sector wages effectively wiped out all the gains in the previous eight years, before recovering slightly in the three years leading up to the Brexit referendum.

Since then, excluding the effects of Covid which distorted the figures because lower paid workers in sectors such as hospitality were furloughed, wage growth has never recovered.

Apparently, if wages had continued rising as they had been before the financial crisis, your pay packet would have been £200 per week thicker.

Who benefits from this?

Who profits by depriving you of the fair wages that help make life worth living?

Here’s a hint:

Source: No growth in average earnings since 2005, ‘unprecedented’ data shows

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