Research shows 90 per cent of UK workforce has suffered drop in earnings since election as Tory policies hit hard


The GMB has accused chancellor George Osborne of having the “economic literacy of a stick of rhubarb” following a study showing the average earnings of 90% of UK workers have fallen as a result of Tory policies.

The union says the recovery underway at the time of the election has stalled under Osborne’s watch, with the annual average earnings of full time workers in 284 occupations in the UK  are down in real terms as a consequence of the recession and the inflation experienced during the stalled recovery.

General secretary Paul Kenny said: “These figures show that the government’s  strategy for an economic recovery is in tatters. George Osborne has the economic literacy of a stick of rhubarb.

“Everyone from plasterers to IT specialists, from travel agents to midwives, from hairdressers to police inspectors have seen the value of their earning drop when they have a job. It has got a lot worse in the past year as the recovery underway at the time of the election stalled.

“Two thirds of the economy is consumer driven and Osborne must be the only person who does not get it. Squeezing wages, pay freezes and cutting jobs will not restart the economy. Using the IMF measures his cuts will reduce real private consumption by 4% and GDP by 3.4% over the next few years.”

The analysis by GMB looked at the annual average earnings of full time workers in each occupation from official ASHE data for April 2007 from ONS before the recession hit. This is compared with increases in annual average earnings for the same occupations using the same data from ASHE for April 2010 uprated by the change in the index of average earnings to September 2011. The increases in annual average earnings are measured against inflation over the same period to calculate the real change in the value of these earnings. Between April 2007 and September 2011 inflation has been 15.8%, of which half (7.7%) has taken place since April last year.

Below are the results of the study for each of the 284 occupation where there has been a drop in living standards in five separate bands as follows:


More than 20% drop

Leisure and travel service occupations n.e.c.; Directors and chief executives of major organisations; Moulders, core makers, die casters; Energy plant operatives; Legal associate professionals; Originators, compositors and print preparers; Steel erectors; Hairdressing and beauty salon managers and proprietors; Financial and accounting technicians; Sales related occupations n.e.c.

15 to 20% drop

Labourers in foundries; Glass and ceramics makers, decorators and finishers; Printing machine minders and assistants; Rubber process operatives; Chartered surveyors (not quantity surveyors); Personnel, training and industrial relations managers; Managers and proprietors in other services n.e.c.; Property, housing and land managers; Screen printers; TV, video and audio engineers; Finance and investment analysts/advisers; Public relations officers; Elementary sales occupations n.e.c.; Company secretaries; Plant and machine operatives n.e.c.

10 to 15% drop

Financial institution managers; Computer engineers, installation and maintenance; Chemists; Driving instructors; Rail construction and maintenance operatives; Senior officials in national government; Assemblers (vehicles and metal goods); IT strategy and planning professionals; Registrars and senior administrators of educational establishments; Road sweepers; Hotel porters; Paper and wood machine operatives; Collector salespersons and credit agents; Vehicle spray painters; Public service associate professionals; Ophthalmic opticians; Lines repairers and cable jointers; Personnel and industrial relations officers; Chemical and related process operatives; Electroplaters; Childminders and related occupations; Horticultural trades; Auto electricians; Taxation experts; Housekeepers and related occupations; Leisure and sports managers; Design and development engineers; Scaffolders, stagers, riggers; Glass and ceramics process operatives; Bricklayers, masons; Legal professionals n.e.c.; Research and development managers; Pharmacy managers; Draughtspersons; IT user support technicians; Management consultants, actuaries, economists and statisticians; Dancers and choreographers; Paramedics; Metal plate workers, shipwrights, riveters; Crane drivers; Journalists, newspaper and periodical editors; Teaching professionals n.e.c.; Construction trades n.e.c.; Clergy; Product, clothing and related designers; Routine laboratory testers; Customer care managers; Bar staff; Statutory examiners; Kitchen and catering assistants; Chartered and certified accountants; Pipe fitters; Office managers; Labourers in process and plant operations n.e.c.; Assemblers (electrical products); Food, drink and tobacco process operatives; Industrial cleaning process occupations; Labourers in other construction trades n.e.c.; Seafarers (merchant navy); barge, lighter and boat operatives; Science and engineering technicians n.e.c.; Construction operatives n.e.c.; Broadcasting associate professionals; Scientific researchers; Mobile machine drivers and operatives n.e.c.

5 to 10% drop

Weavers and knitters; Senior officers in fire, ambulance, prison and related services; Shelf fillers; Assemblers and routine operatives n.e.c.; Elementary personal services occupations n.e.c.; Building and civil engineering technicians; Goldsmiths, silversmiths, precious stone workers; Architectural technologists and town planning technicians; Debt, rent and other cash collectors; Sports and leisure assistants; Bookbinders and print finishers; Psychologists; Retail and wholesale managers; Furniture makers, other craft woodworkers; Estimators, valuers and assessors; Biological scientists and biochemists; Fork-lift truck drivers; Agricultural and fishing trades n.e.c.; Management accountants;

Transport and distribution managers; Metal working machine operatives; Carpenters and joiners; Laboratory technicians; Photographers and audio-visual equipment operators; Printers; Musical instrument makers and tuners; Countryside and park rangers; Restaurant and catering managers; Leisure and theme park attendants; Metal machining setters and setter-operators; Plastics process operatives; Labourers in building and woodworking trades; Metal making and treating process operatives; Elementary office occupations n.e.c.; Quantity surveyors; Sales representatives; Postal workers, mail sorters, messengers, couriers; Vehicle body builders and repairers; Storage and warehouse managers; Police officers (inspectors and above); Tool makers, tool fitters and markers-out; Elementary cleaning occupations n.e.c.; Solicitors and lawyers, judges and coroners; Metal working production and maintenance fitters; Floorers and wall tilers; Software professionals; Other goods handling and storage occupations n.e.c.; Information and communication technology managers; Engineering professionals n.e.c. Telephonists; Routine inspectors and testers; Credit controllers; Telephone salespersons; Prison service officers (below principal officer); Glaziers, window fabricators and fitters; Therapists n.e.c.; Plasterers; Further education teaching professionals; Legal secretaries; Garage managers and proprietors; Nursery nurses; Refuse and salvage occupations; Call centre agents/operators; Marketing and sales managers; Customer care occupations; Butchers, meat cutters; Police officers (sergeant and below); Hotel and accommodation managers; Buyers and purchasing officers; Advertising and public relations managers; Animal care occupations n.e.c.; Library assistants/clerks; Occupational hygienists and safety officers (health and safety); Van drivers; Merchandisers and window dressers; Ambulance staff (excluding paramedics); Welding trades; Pest control officers; Purchasing managers; Process operatives n.e.c.

Building inspectors; Fire service officers (leading fire officer and below); Civil engineers; Beauticians and related occupations; Water and sewerage plant operatives; Secondary education teaching professionals; Chefs, cooks; IT operations technicians; Fishmongers, poultry dressers; Communication operators; Bakers, flour confectioners; Natural environment and conservation managers; Care assistants and home carers; Roundsmen/women and van salespersons; Farm workers; Business and related associate professionals n.e.c.; Electrical/electronics engineers n.e.c.; Motor mechanics, auto engineers; Painters and decorators; Occupational therapists; Town planners; Plumbers, heating and ventilating engineers; Travel agents; Undertakers and mortuary assistants; Filing and other records assistants/clerks; Sewing machinists; Social workers; Architects; Speech and language therapists; Mechanical engineers; Fishing and agriculture related occupations n.e.c.; Senior officials in local government; Air transport operatives; Gardeners and groundsmen/ groundswomen; Pharmaceutical dispensers; Medical practitioners; Youth and community workers; Sales and retail assistants

0 – 5% drop

Financial managers and chartered secretaries; Careers advisers and vocational guidance specialists; Healthcare practice managers; Farm managers; Heavy goods vehicle drivers; Launderers, dry cleaners, pressers; Graphic designers; Housing and welfare officers; Packers, bottlers, canners, fillers; Recycling and refuse disposal managers; Production and process engineers; Personal assistants and other secretaries; Transport and distribution clerks; Medical secretaries; Conservation and environmental protection officers; Environmental health officers; Retail cashiers and check-out operators; Special needs education teaching professionals; Pensions and insurance clerks; Weighers, graders, sorters; Marketing associate professionals; Cleaners, domestics; Roofers, roof tilers and slaters; Air travel assistants; Researchers n.e.c.; Vocational and industrial trainers and instructors; Database assistants/clerks; Stevedores, dockers and slingers; Engineering technicians; Aircraft pilots and flight engineers; Telecommunications engineers; Primary and nursery education teaching professionals; Medical and dental technicians; Hairdressers, barbers; Social services managers; Caretakers; Floral arrangers, florists; Chiropodists; Houseparents and residential wardens; Electrical/electronics technicians; Officers of non-governmental organisations; Accounts and wages clerks, book-keepers, other financial clerks; Hospital porters; Dental nurses; Upholsterers; Tyre, exhaust and windscreen fitters; Bus and coach drivers; Physicists, geologists and meteorologists; Quarry workers and related operatives; Hand craft occupations n.e.c.; Veterinarians; Counter clerks; Educational assistants; Road construction operatives; Senior officials of special interest organisations; Receptionists; Quality assurance managers; General office assistants/clerks; Train drivers; Artists; Forestry workers; Higher education teaching professionals; Stock control clerks; Arts officers, producers and directors; Electronics engineers; Librarians; Planning and quality control engineers; Nurses; Electricians, electrical fitters; Importers, exporters; Local government clerical officers and assistants; Authors, writers; Midwives; Security guards and related occupations; Pharmacists/pharmacologists; Medical radiographers; Civil Service executive officers;


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