16 October 2014
This week’s strikes come in the wake of the longest pay squeeze since the mid-Victorian era, according to new research by the TUC.
The latest figures released by the ONS show real earnings continuing to fall; the seventh consecutive year of falling real earnings. According to the TUC, this has no historical precedent.
The TUC have conducted a study comparing the current wage squeeze to four historical earnings crises – 1865-67, 1874-78, 1921-23, 1976-77. Three of these are periods lasting only 2 years, with the longest lasting 4 years.
The analysis has also shown that as long as being the longest crisis, it is also the deepest, with an 8% fall in real earnings between 2007 and 2014. Workers are now on average £2,500 a year worse off than if wage growth had kept pace with pre-crash levels.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s shocking that even the most infamous periods of pay depression in the last 150 years pale into comparison when looking at the current seven-year collapse in earnings.
“The government says the economy is growing again, but there’s no evidence of any recovery in ordinary workers’ pay packets. Across the country people are struggling to make ends meet, as their pay lags behind prices and there seems to be no end in sight to their financial misery”.