A union says the real value of earnings have dropped by almost 19 per cent in Northamptonshire since 2008 – the biggest fall in the east midlands.
A living wage and pay rises to help hard pressed families as bills go through the roof are needed to boost the economy and stop the downward spiral says GMB.
The real value of average earnings of all employees resident in the east midlands has dropped by 12.8 per cent between April 2008 and November 2012, a new GMB study of official earnings data claims. For employees in Northamptonshire the drop has been 18.6 per cent and 13.6 per cent for those living in Leicestershire the two areas in the region worst affected by the recession.
In April 2008 the mean gross annual earnings for all employees resident in the region according to the Annual Survey of Hours & Earnings (ASHE) was £24,128. The ASHE figure for the mean gross annual earnings for all employees resident in the region for April 2012 was £24,605. This is an increase of £477 or two per cent. Between April 2008 and November 2012 inflation has been 14.8 per cent. This, say the GMB, means the drop in real value of average earnings in the east midlands between April 2008 and November 2012 has been 12.8 per cent.
For the UK as a whole the drop in the real value of average earnings of all employees between April 2008 and November 2012 has been 12.8 per cent.
Andy Worth, GMB regional secretary, said: “These figures showing a drop of 12.8 per cent in the real value of earnings in the region explain why we are on our way to a triple dip recession.
“Consumer spending is the single biggest component of demand in the economy and with the real value of wages from employment falling there is no mystery as to why the economy is in a downward spiral. The replacing of full time permanent jobs with part time and temporary lower paid jobs is part of this.
“In both the public and private sectors GMB is organising active local campaigns in support of a living wage of £7.45 an hour (£8.30 in London). In addition, GMB is seeking negotiated settlements in the forthcoming pay round. If such settlements are not on offer GMB has already said that ballots for strike action will be inevitable.
“A living wage and pay rises to help hard pressed families as bills go through the roof are needed to boost the economy and stop the downward spiral.”