Just before Christmas I blogged about research by the Joseph Rowntree Trust which reported that that since 2008 there has been an “unprecedented erosion of household living standards” thanks to rapid inflation and flat-lining wages which suggests that many families are unable to afford a holiday and many more are having to be very careful about how much they spend.
Now the UK’s Office of National Statistics has looked at the trends in real wages in the UK.
“Real wages growth was volatile during the 1970s when inflation rates were high and variable. Since then growth has fluctuated less, but has been on a broadly downwards trend. There appear to have been small step changes down in real wages growth occurring around the end of each decade, perhaps in response to the UK or global recessions which occurred at those times. Annual real wage growth averaged 2.9% in the 1970s and 1980s, then roughly halved to 1.5% in the 1990s. The rate slowed again to an average of 1.2% in the 2000s, and real wages fell by 2.2% per annum between Q1 2010 and Q2 2013. The chart also shows that the recent episode is the longest sustained period of falling real wages in the UK on record.”
Read their analysis – it is available on-line
Demand cannot be unaffected by trends in real wages.