REAL wages in Solihull have fallen further than anywhere else in the West Midlands over the last decade – but there are signs of improvement.
The drop in wages since 2008 is nearly £100 per week on average in the borough – with residents earning 17 per cent less in real terms.
This equates to £95 a week, or £380 a month, or £4,560 a year.
The new analysis of Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures was published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The analysis shows which local authority areas have suffered the biggest hit to real wages (once the cost of living has been taken into account) since the financial crash of 2008.
There have been sharp falls across the region in both poor and affluent areas.
Real wages are still lower than a decade ago in 23 of the region’s 34 local authority areas, the TUC claims.
TUC regional secretary Lee Barron said: “The government has failed to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis.
“As a result many families across the region will be worse off this Christmas than a decade ago.
“While pay packets have recovered in most leading economies, wage growth in the UK is stuck in the slow lane.
“Ministers need to wake up and get wages rising faster. This means giving all public sector workers the pay rise they have earned and giving unions the right to bargain in more workplaces.
“And it means boosting the minimum wage to £10 an hour as soon as possible.”
But ONS figures last week showed earnings for the three months to October rose 3.3 per cent from the same period last year – the highest level for nearly a decade.
And ministers claim there is a new record high for employment, with 32.4 million in work.
Cabinet member for managed growth Councillor Ian Courts said “In other measures, Solihull performs better than average.
“The fall in real wage growth has been a national trend over the last 10 years and Solihull is not unique in this.
“For instance, annual wages for full-time workers in Solihull have fallen in real terms by just -2 per cent between 2008 and 2018, whereas across England as a whole they have fallen by seven per cent.
“On the basis of this data series, wages in Solihull are among the most resilient in the country.”