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Most workers paid less than a decade ago – but bankers’ salaries are at a record high

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14/05/2019
Average salaries are £17 a week lower than they were a decade ago, however a small number of industries have bucked the trend and seen real wage growth.

In most sectors of the economy wages are still worth less than before the financial crisis, a new study reveals.

Nurses and teachers are among the hardest hit, with those employed in health and social work and education £36 a week worse off than in 2009, according to TUC research.

Bankers are doing the best, with the average salary in the financial sector up by 9.3% or £119 a week since 2009 reaching a record average of £1,405 per week.

The hardest hit workers are those working for membership organisations, repair services and in furnishings. Their pay is £86 per week lower in real terms than a decade ago.

The next worse performing sector is manufacturing of food and drink, where real pay is still down by £52 per week.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s not right that pay is racing ahead in the City when most working people are still worse off than a decade ago.

“The architects of the financial crisis are earning record amounts while teachers and nurses struggle to get by.

“Workers deserve a much fairer share of the wealth they create.  That’s why unions need new rights to access workplaces and negotiate industry-wide rates.

“Pay inequality helped drive the last financial crash. It can’t be left unaddressed.”

The TUC analysis compared official average weekly earnings figures from the Office for National Statistics for December 2008-February 2009 and December 2018-February 2019, taking into account inflation.

Weekly pay by industry (£), 2009 to 2019 (prices = 2018)

Industrial sector

Dec 2008
– Feb 2009

Dec 2018
– Feb 2019

% change

£ change

Financial & Insurance Activities

1286

1405

9.3

119

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

373

398

6.7

25

Manufacturing: Chemicals, man-made fibres

732

772

5.5

40

Retail Trade and Repairs

317

331

4.3

14

Administrative & Support Service Activities

419

435

4.0

17

Manufacturing: Engineering & Allied Industries

688

703

2.1

14

Transport and Storage

599

608

1.5

9

Accommodation & Food Service Activities

254

256

0.9

2

Information and Communication

870

876

0.6

5

Manufacturing: Textile, Leather & Clothing

439

439

0.0

0

Real Estate Activities

531

522

-1.6

-9

Wholesale Trade

636

618

-2.8

-18

Mining and Quarrying

1276

1240

-2.9

-36

Other Manufacturing

558

541

-3.0

-17

Electricity, Gas and Water Supply

720

696

-3.4

-25

Manufacturing: Metals & Metal Products

608

585

-3.7

-23

Construction

656

630

-4.0

-26

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

430

405

-5.9

-25

Professional, Scientific & Technical

772

724

-6.3

-48

Education

485

448

-7.5

-36

Health and Social Work

478

441

-7.6

-36

Public Administration

640

583

-8.9

-57

Manufacturing: Food, Beverage & Tobacco

571

519

-9.1

-52

Other Service Activities
(incl. membership organisations, repair services)

472

386

-18.2

-86

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