Workers in Britain have had the weakest real wage growth among the most advanced nations in the G20, according to UN data showing the scale of the UK’s “lost decade” for pay.
According to the International Labour Organization, Britain ranked bottom of a group of nine wealthy nations for its pay performance since 2009, after the financial crisis.
With a loss in real wage growth – which strips out the effect of inflation – of about 5% between 2008 and 2017, the UK performed slightly worse than Italy and far behind other major G20 nations such as the US and Germany. South Korea had the strongest real wage growth at 15%.
The figures provide an international comparison for the damage to living standards in the UK since the financial crisis.
Britain has not been alone in terms of sluggish pay growth, with the ILO data showing real wage growth for workers around the world fell to the slowest rate in almost a decade last year. Pay growth also remained well below its pre-crisis rate.
The average increase in workers’ monthly pay packets after inflation declined to 1.8% in 2017, from 2.4% a year earlier, with some of the worst performances in advanced economies.