Wages should begin to grow with the economy, setting the stage for living standards to improve, but there is a lot of ground to make up.
Figures on rising private sector wages are politically explosive and could change the debate on the economy.
It might not feel it - the country is still emerging from a six year downturn - but the numbers are puzzlingly good.
The three constituencies with the most workers earning less than the living wage are all in the south of England, according to figures from the TUC.
- Kingswood, near Bristol has 48% of constituents working for less than the living wage.
- London's Chingford and Woodford Green have 43.4% of constituents working for less than a liveable wage.
- Harrow West had 42.4%.
- However, other London constituencies had the lowest number of underpaid workers. In Poplar and Limehouse on 5.6% of the population earned less than £8.80 per hour.
- Runneymede and Weybridge had only 5.8%.
Almost 50% of the jobs on offer in some parts of the UK are paying less than the living wage, according to data from a leading trade union.
The TUC said a breakdown of official figures showed around 20% of workers were taking home less than the living wage for the area they lived in.
However, in some constituencies this rose to 50%.
The TUC said this amounted to five million people working for less than the living wage, with some of the worst offending areas in parts of outer London.
The living wage comes in at £8.80 per hour in London and £7.65 for the rest of the country.
Chancellor George Osborne has declared his commitment to fight for "full employment" in Britain.
Speaking to workers at Tilbury Port in Essex, he said his "ambition" was for Britain to achieve the highest employment rate of any of the developed nations of the G7.
Former Conservative chancellor Norman Lamont has told ITV News he is "not in any way uncomfortable" with George Osborne's comments that mass unemployment would never be a price worth paying.
Lord Lamont famously said in 1991, "Rising unemployment and the recession have been the price that we've had to pay in order to get inflation down, but that is a price worth paying".
The Conservative government won't seek to lower the unemployment rate by creating "artificial" public sector jobs, which ended up destroying employment as public spending spiraled out of control, says George Osborne.
"You end up with more people unemployed instead of less. Then the politicians who make these guarantees get into a panic. So unemployed people are pushed on to sickness benefits to hide the real numbers," he said.
George Osborne has stated that it's his ambition for the UK to have the highest employment rate than any G7 country.
He also stated in his recent speech that the Conservatives are aiming for "full employment" in Britain.
Today have set an ambition for the UK to have the highest employment rate in G7- best place to create a job and to get a job
This week sees biggest personal & business tax cuts for 2 decades. Part of our plan to build an economy that supports full employment
George Osborne stated that it is his commitment to fight for full employment in Britain, during a speech today.
– George Osborne
When Winston Churchill was PM; they set the first commitment to full employment.
(Yet) attempts past and present by governments "guarantee" a job to every person are doomed to fail.
– George Osborne
There is no reason why Britain shouldn't aim to have the highest employment rate of any of the world’s leading economies.
To have more people working than any of the other countries in the G7 group.
That’s my ambition.
In his speech Osborne said he wants the UK to be the best place in the world to "create, find and keep jobs" as well as improving schools and reforming welfare.
Cutting tax for businesses as well as "building new roads and railways", with an emphasis on becoming a "world leader in science".
– George Osborne
That is what I mean when I say that we are going for Full Employment.
George Osborne has stated in a speech that a Conservative government will "work towards full employment" for Britain, which includes cutting taxes for businesses and hard working people.
Osborne's "full employment" commitment actually means UK having the "highest employment rate of any of the major economies in the world"
Tory Chancellor commits to "working towards full employment"
British workers and businesses are to benefit from the "biggest tax cuts" to personal and business taxes in "two decades", says George Osborne.
He also said the benefit system will be more affordable and fairer, with Britain creating jobs faster than almost any country in the world.
British workers and businesses will this week benefit from biggest tax cuts in a generation, George Osborne will claim.
Measures including the rise in the income tax personal allowance to £10,000 and cuts in business taxes will be brought in over the coming days.
Tomorrow the corporation tax rate will be cut by 1% to 21% and reforms to business rates will be introduced. The annual investment allowance for firms will be doubled to £500,000.
The £10,000 income tax personal allowance comes into effect on Sunday, along with the employment allowance which cuts employers' National Insurance contributions by up to £2,000.
Giving a speech in Essex later today, Mr Osborne will say that Sunday will be "the culmination of this week that sees the biggest reduction of business and personal tax in two decades".