Spending power in the North West has been reduced by 7 billion pounds since the start of the decade according to the TUC.
The union organisation says that the controversial policy of capping public sector pay is to blame.
And that public sector workers earn 2 thousand pounds less than if their pay had kept pace with inflation.
Thousands of people are due to hit the Boxing Day sales across the North West today with reports of even some people camping out at large shopping centres such as the Trafford Centre.
However, a recent survey by Barclaycard says that shoppers enthusiasm has dropped this year for the sales with only 23% of Britons heading out compared to last year's 32%.
Manchester's Arndale Centre saw 185,000 shoppers through its doors on Boxing Day.
It was one of the centre's busiest ever starts to the post-Christmas sales.
Between midday and 4pm alone, more than 90,000 people went there.
The day started with queues outside Next, which started its sale at 6am.
Liverpool One shopping centre says visitor numbers to the Boxing Day sales are up 18% on last year.
It says 90% of its stores have sales on and car park spaces were full by noon.