Consumer: ‘Real value’ of earnings has plummeted

The value of earnings is down 15% in Yorkshire.

The value of earnings is down 15% in Yorkshire.

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The real value of average earnings has fallen by almost 14 per cent since the recession five years ago, putting even more strain on hard-pressed consumers and sending living standards plunging, a new study has shown.

The figure in Yorkshire is even higher than the national average at 15 per cent, according to the research by the GMB union. In some parts of the county, like Sheffield, the value of average pay has slumped by almost a quarter, the report said.

The report compared the increase in average pay with the rise in RPI inflation. Unions have been warning that wages have failed to keep up with inflation.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB, said: “These alarming figures show how hard-pressed working people across the UK are struggling to pay their bills after years of wage decline and attacks on the living standards of families throughout the land.

“Working people deserve and need a decent pay rise to halt the drop in living standards.”

The GMB’s study, based on official data, listed the worst areas in the UK for the drop in average earnings.

Sheffield was the worst-hit part of Yorkshire, at 23 per cent.

Other northern areas with above-average falls included Blackpool. Hammersmith in London was the worst-hit overall at 49 per cent.

Hardwick Hall.

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