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CEP election analysis

Real Wages and Living Standards in the UK


Since the global financial crisis of 2007/08, workers’ real wages and family living standards in the UK have suffered to an extent unprecedented in modern history. Real wages of the typical (median) worker have fallen by almost 5% since 2008, while real family incomes for families of working age have just about recovered to pre-crisis levels. But almost all groups of individuals and families – with the exception of pensioner households – are no better off on average than in 2008. In particular, there is an important generational shift, with young people doing considerably worse.


Rui Costa and Stephen Machin

19 May 2017     Paper Number CEPEA036

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This CEP election analysis is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.