Pay packets worth less than 2008 in nearly two-thirds of UK local authorities | Personal Finance | Finance

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Pay packets are still worth less than in 2008 in nearly two-thirds of UK local authority regions, according to a new TUC analysis. The drill-down of official statistics shows that 16 years on from the global financial crisis, wages are set to be lower – in real terms – in 212 out of 340 UK local authorities in 2024.

Additionally, real wages in every UK local authority fall significantly below the levels they would have reached if they had continued to grow at the pre-2008 rate. TUC found has the highest share of real wage blackspots, with real pay lower than in 2008 in nearly all (94 percent) of its local authorities.

However, even in lower-paid regions of the UK such as the North East, where incomes of those on the lowest pay have been bolstered by the minimum wage, real wages are still lower than in 2008 in half (50 percent) of local authorities.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) analysis is based on local authority pay data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) for the period between 1997 and 2023.

The union body estimates that the average UK worker would be £10,400 a year better off if real wages had grown at their pre-crisis trend – the equivalent of £200 a week.

Before the financial crash, UK real weekly wages grew on average by 1.7 percent each year. Since 2008, average annual growth has been –0.2 percent.

Paul Nowak, TUC general secretary said: “Hard work should pay for everyone.

“But people are still worse off than in 2008 across the vast majority of Britain. And in every corner of the UK pay growth is way below historic trends.”

He said this is a “damning indictment” of the Conservatives’ economic record.

He added: “Just imagine how much better off people would be if they had an extra £10,400 in their pay packets each year – and how much more prosperous the country would be.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. We can create a new era of decent pay growth again where families’ living standards rise rather than fall backwards.

“But we need a new approach to get there. That means a proper plan to get the economy growing again by investing in UK industry, and a new feal so that working people get a fair share of the wealth they create.”

Here is the percentage per region with real wages below the 2008 level, according to TUC research:

  • North East – 50 percent

  • North West – 67 percent

  • Yorkshire and Humber – 67 percent

  • West Midlands – 43 percent

  • East Midlands – 67 percent

  • East of England – 60 percent

  • London – 94 percent

  • South East – 78 percent

  • South West – 58 percent

  • England – 68 percent

  • UK – 62 percent.

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