WAGES in the UK have seen one of the largest falls in the European Union since the coalition came to power, according to official figures publicised by Labour.
Figures from the House of Commons library show average hourly wages have fallen 5.5% since mid-2010, adjusted for inflation, which is the fourth-worst decline in the 27-nation bloc.
By contrast, German hourly wages rose by 2.7% over the same period.
Across the European Union as a whole, average wages fell 0.7%.
Only Greek, Portuguese and Dutch workers have had a steeper decline in hourly wages, the figures showed.
Other countries that have suffered during the eurozone debt crisis also still fared better than the UK.
Spain had a 3.3% drop over the same period and salaries in Cyprus fell by 3%.
French workers saw a 0.4% increase, while the 18 countries in the eurozone saw a 0.1% drop during that period.
Labour’s shadow Treasury minister Cathy Jamieson said yesterday: ‘These figures show the full scale of David Cameron’s cost of living crisis.
‘Working people are not only worse off under the Tories, we’re also doing much worse than almost all other EU countries.
‘Despite out-of-touch claims by ministers, life is getting harder for ordinary families as prices continue rising faster than wages.’
In June, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that a third of workers who stayed in the same job saw a wage cut or freeze between 2010 and 2011 amid a rise in the cost of living.
The IFS said in June: ‘The falls in nominal wages…during this recession are unprecedented.’
In 2009, the average public-sector worker earned about £16.60 per hour, which dropped to about £15.80 in 2011.
Meanwhile, hourly pay for private-sector workers in 2009 was just over £15.10 and dropped to about £13.60 in 2011.
A Treasury spokesperson yesterday admitted: ‘we’ve still got a long way to go as we move from rescue to recovery and we appreciate that times are still tough for families.’