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Low and middle earners see wage increases dwindle

Low and middle earners see wage increases dwindle

Category: Money

Updated: 06/06/2011
First Published: 06/06/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The income gap between low and medium earners and professionals in the higher earning bracket has widened considerably in the last 30 years.

A report by the TUC has revealed that low income earners have benefitted from a 27% rise in pay in real terms over the last three decades.

Medium earners have seen their pay increase by 56%.

These rises pale into insignificance when compared to the professionals in the top pay bracket, who have seen their pay soar.

Those in the top 10% of earners are the only group that has seen their wage increases match the rise in GDP in the UK since 1978.

Medical practitioners have seen their earnings rise by 153% in the period, while judges, barristers and solicitors have benefitted from a 114% increase in wages.

At the opposite end of the working scale, fork lift drivers have actually seen their wages fall in real terms, declining by 5%.

Packers, bottlers and canners have also suffered, with real term wage inflation at -3%.

The report says that despite a marked increase in the output of the UK economy in the last 30 years, the number of poor jobs that offer low pay and security has risen.

In a bid to reverse the trend, the TUC has called on the Government to place a greater emphasis on job creation, and for more people to benefit from the expansion in the UK economy.

" Britain has got much wealthier over the last three decades. But while a small financial elite have grabbed an ever larger share for themselves, many people on low and middle incomes have seen barely any improvement in their incomes, while some have even seen their take home pay fall," said Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary.

"People often cite the recession as the source of this income squeeze, but a livelihood crisis has been brewing in Britain for decades.

"The financial crash has exposed decades of limp wage growth, offset by soaring household debt."

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