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Wages fell for all earners between 2009 and 2013

The economic downturn hit earners across the income spectrum - though it did so for different groups at different times, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics.

From 2009 to 2013, earnings for full-time employees shrank by 7.5 per cent on average.

In the first two years of this period, the largest wage falls were seen for the bottom 10 per cent of earners.

But from 2011 to 2013, it was the turn of the highest earners to lose out most. The lowest 60 per cent of earners saw their wages fall by around 1 to 2 per cent, with the next 30 per cent losing 2 to 4 per cent. The top 10 per cent lost more than 4 per cent of their wages, with the highest-earning 1 per cent suffering a drop of 6.6 per cent.

Historic wage rises

In the same release, the ONS revealed that real wages for the average full-time worker doubled between 1975 and 2013, with an increase of 101 per cent.

For the top 1 per cent of workers, incomes rose the most - by 189 per cent.

Part-time workers have also seen rises over the same period, particularly the highest 5 per cent of earners, who have enjoyed earnings growth of 228 per cent.

Acas publications and services

How employers handle pay can have a big impact on morale and productivity.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and work with you to improve the effectiveness of your pay system, and help you find the best ways of dealing with issues related to Pay and reward: how Acas can help.

Training courses on Negotiating skills, Having difficult conversations, and Employing People – A Practical Introduction, will help you cope with get through difficult pay issues with your staff.

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