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ONS: Real wages have been falling since 2009

The average earnings of UK workers have been falling in real terms for the last three years and are now at 2003 levels, a new article from the Office for National Statistics has shown.

After inflation has been factored in, wages have been shown to be falling since 2009 Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

After three decades of strong growth, real wages peaked in 2009 at £12.25. Since then inflation has outstripped wage increases, leading to real wages of £11.92 in 2010 and £11.41 in 2011.

This means that real wages have dropped by almost 3% between 2010 and 2012.

New figures show rising house prices in UK

House prices steadily rose last year in the UK. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

House prices in the UK increased by 3.3% over a 12 month period up until December 2012, according to new figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

The rise in property prices is up 2.2% from a 12 month window through to November last year.

House prices rose throughout most of the UK in 2012, but prices in Northern Ireland continued to fall.

The year-on-year housing price increase reflected growth of 3.4% in England, 2.4% in Wales and 3.1% in Scotland, which were offset by a decline of 5.7% in Northern Ireland.

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Snapshot of UK life in spending habits survey

Britain's spending habits vary dramtically with Londoners splashing out the most for restaurants while Northern Ireland leads the way with alcohol.

The survey by the Office For National Statistics gives a snapshot of life across the UK by comparing average weekly household expenditure between 2009 and 2011.

HIGHEST EXPENDITURE

  • Food and non-alcoholic drink: London and Northern Ireland, £57.90
  • Alcoholic drink, tobacco: Northern Ireland, £16.50
  • Health: South East, £8.50
  • Transport: South East, £74.80
  • Restaurants & hotels: London, £53.30

LOWEST EXPENDITURE

  • Food and non-alcoholic drink: North East, £45.70
  • Alcoholic drink, tobacco: London, £10.10
  • Health: Wales, £3.10
  • Transport: North East, £50.10
  • Restaurants & hotels: Wales, £31.80

Why the discrepancy in crime rates?

Analysis from the Office for National Statistics suggests there is a discrepancy between police records of crimes and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

The CSEW works by "asking people whether they have experienced any crime in the past year," whereas police records are based on officers recording offences in their patch.

The differences between these methods may give rise to discrepancies, although the exact reason why police records appear to overstate crime reduction is a matter of controversy.

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Police may record fewer crimes due to target pressures

Another possibility for the discrepancy was that more low-level crimes were being dealt with informally and outside the formal crime recording system.

Mr Flatley also suggested it was also "possible" that reductions in police budgets and officers meant fewer offences were being recorded.

Why are women waiting to get pregnant?

A spokesman for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the fall in the average age of mothers since 1973 could be due to several factors:

Possible influences include increased participation in higher education, increased female participation in the labour force, the increasing importance of a career, the rising opportunity costs of child-bearing, labour market uncertainty, housing factors and instability of partnerships.

– ONS spokesman

More women are delaying childbirth until their 30s

Live births by age group for mother, 1938-2011 Credit: Office for National Statistics

Just under 50% of women are waiting until they reach 30 to give birth, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

In 2010, 48% of all infants born were to mothers aged 30 and over, up from 47% in 2009 and 46% in 2000.

The last time so many babies were born to women of this age was after the Second World War, in 1946.

The proportion of mothers under the age of 25 has fallen steadily since its peak in the early Seventies.

Reporting discrepancy may be due to retail crime

There are warning signs for the police and Home Office, with the increase in theft. And earlier this week the British Retail Consortium's Survey showed an increase of over 15% in the cost of retail crime alongside a drop in the proportion of crime reported by retailers to the police from 48% to 16%.

This is perhaps why the Office for National Statistics has begun to express concern that apparent reductions in police recorded crime may be exaggerated.

– david hanson, shadow policing minister
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