IFS says workers face worst pay growth ‘since the 1920s’

Think tank says real wages set to be lower in 2021 than in 2008


Britain has seen the worst wage growth in since the 1920s, according to an independent think tank, with real terms pay on course to be lower in 2021 than in 2008.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said analysis of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement also showed the poorest third of families would be the hardest hit.

Speaking to the BBC, Johnson said:


“This has, for sure, been the worst decade for living standards certainly since the last war and probably since the 1920s.

We have seen no increase in average incomes so far and it does not look like we are going to get much of an increase over the next four or five years either.”

He added:

“Half of the wage growth projected for the next five years back in March is not now projected to happen. On these projections real wages will, remarkably, still be below their 2008 levels in 2021.

One cannot stress enough how dreadful that is – more than a decade without real earnings growth.

We have certainly not seen a period remotely like it in the last 70 years.”

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

See: Brexit migration curb’s £6 billion a year blow to public finances

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.