Overall pay growth for workers in Britain hit a record low. Pay was up just 0.4% on a year ago in terms of gross weekly earnings, meaning that incomes are tumbling in real terms given that inflation stands at 5%. Not only is pay being frozen or raised only slightly for those in work, but those joining the labour market are earning less than those leaving it.
"Unskilled workers are facing a choice between no pay and very low pay...." John Philpott, chief economic adviser to the Chartered Institute of Professional Development warned
The bottom tenth of earners saw their pay creep up just 0.1% between 2010 and 2011 while the top tenth saw their pay grow 18 times faster.
The amount of pay needed to be in the top 10% of full-time earners has increased by 1.9% to £52,643, while the threshold for the bottom 10% of full-time workers increased 0.6%, to £14,905.
The earnings of chief executives and directors of "leading organisations" rose 15% to an average of £112,157. Salaries of senior corporate managers also increased substantially – up 7.1% year-on-year to £77,679.
By contrast, the annual pay of waiters and waitresses – who are mostly part-time workers – fell 11.2% year-on-year to £5,660, among the most substantial drop for any group of workers. Hairdressers' salaries fell 4.5% to £9,599, while cleaners' remuneration fell 3.4%.