UK workers saw their wages fall by an average of 1 per cent a year in the period following the financial crisis, putting the country almost at the very bottom of a national ranking of wage growth compiled by the TUC, the Independent reports.
A study by the labour union, based on data from the International Labour Organisation, shows that average wage growth across 112 countries was 2.3 per cent a year between 2008 and 2015 compared to a median increase of 1.6 per cent.
Of all the countries examined by the TUC, only a handful ranked worse than the UK in terms of wage growth putting it in 103rd place.
Sri Lanka and Jamaica trailed all other countries, with an average wage decrease of 4.2 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, Tajikistan led the way with a 14.4 per cent increase. Wages in Greece declined 3.6 per cent. The only other countries that ranked below the UK were Venezuela, the territories of West Bank & Gaza, Kenya, Mexico, Uganda and Iran.
Earlier this month, the network of regional agents working for the Bank of England reported that employers plan to scale down pay awards this year, despite the expected jump in inflation due to the plunging pound.
According to the agents’ latest survey, average pay growth of 2.7 per cent in 2016 is expected to slow sharply to 2.2 per cent in 2017.
The findings are further evidence that real incomes are set to be squeezed this year, which is expected to crush disposable incomes.
Consumer price inflation currently stands at 1.6 per cent and is expected to reach 2.7 per cent by the Bank of England by the end of 2017, largely due to the 12 per cent slump in sterling since last June’s Brexit vote.
The TUC said that if the Government is “serious about the post-Brexit economy working for everyone, both decent wages and quality work must be the destination”.