Wages are still worth a third less in some parts of the country than a decade ago, according to research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC)
It found that the average worker has lost £11,800 in real earnings since 2008. The UK has suffered the worst real wage slump among leading economies, said the union organisation.
Workers have suffered real wage losses ranging from just under £5,000 in the north-east to more than £20,000 in London, said the report.
TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “The government has failed to tackle Britain’s cost-of-living crisis. As a result, millions of families will be worse off this Christmas than a decade ago.
“While pay packets have recovered in most leading economies, wage growth in the UK is stuck in the slow lane.
“Ministers need to wake up and get wages rising faster. This means cranking up the pressure on businesses to pay staff more, especially at a time when many companies are sitting on large profits.”
Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation thinktank, said: “While wages are currently growing at their fastest rate in a decade and employment is at a record high, the sobering big picture is that inflation-adjusted pay is still almost £500 a year lower than when Lehman Brothers was still around. Stronger wage growth is needed to make 2019 a better year for living standards than this one.”