Analysis from the TUC shows that real wages in Britain today are worth £24 a week less than they were in 2008. By the time wages are forecast to return to their pre-crash level in 2025, real wages will have been in decline for 17 years – the longest period since the beginning of the Nineteenth Century.
The TUC compared the current wage squeeze with every major earnings crisis over the past two centuries and found that the only slump longer than the one we face today was the 24 years between 1798 and 1822, a period when Europe was devastated by the Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath.
Real wages recovered faster during the Great Depression of the 1930s and after the Second World War. As a result of pay not keeping pace with the cost of living, the TUC estimates that, by 2025, the average British worker will have lost out on around £18,500 in real earnings. This is set to be the longest and most costly pay squeeze since 1822.
Thousands marched through London on 12th May in support of the TUC’s call for a New Deal for Working People, calling for an end to austerity policies, insecure work and the decline in collective bargaining and in favour of increased spending on infrastructure and public services and a pay rise for working people.