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UK 'unprecedented' wage fall

Wages have fallen by more in real terms during the current economic downturn than ever previously recorded. Research shows one-third of workers who stayed in the same post following the recession suffered a cut or freeze in their wages in 2010-11.

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'Unprecedented' fall in worker wages during recession

The falls in nominal wages that workers have experienced during this recession are unprecedented, and seem to provide at least a partial explanation for why unemployment has risen less, and productivity has fallen more, than might otherwise have been expected.

To the extent that it is better for individuals to stay in work, albeit with lower wages, than to become unemployed, the long-term consequences of this recession in terms of labour market performance may be less severe than following the high unemployment recessions of the 1980s and 1990s.

– Fiscal Studies managing editor Claire Crawford

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