Wages fall over past seven years, say Labour
REAL wages have fallen in the West Midlands, leaving working people poorer.
New data compiled by House of Commons officials reveals wages have fallen by an average of 0.4 per cent each year in real terms since 2010.
The figures were published by the Labour Party as part of its campaign to highlight plans for a major increase in the minimum wage if it wins power.
Average weekly pay in the West Midlands, including any bonuses such as overtime, is £535 a week, according to official figures. This was up from £517 a week in 2013.
But the new study looks at what has happened to wages in real terms, which means after inflation is taken into account.
It found that wages in the West Midlands fell in real terms by 0.4 per cent a year on average over the past seven years.
The good news for the region is that this is a smaller fall than elsewhere. The people hit hardest by wage cuts are in London, where earnings fell by 1.2 per cent a year in real terms.
Pay rises for public sector workers are currently frozen at one per cent a year while inflation is 2.6 per cent. This means that they are being cut in real terms each year.
But many workers in the private sector have also suffered real terms pay cuts. And official figures show the cost of some essential items has risen even faster than the overall inflation rate.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the cost of clothing and footwear rose by 3.2 per cent in the 12 months up to July 2017. The cost of fish rose by 7.4 per cent in this period and the cost of fruit rose by 3.6 per cent.
But the Conservatives pointed out that more people are actually in work than ever before.