UK jobs pay less than they did a decade ago: in one chart

In 2015, employees took home an average of £528 a week 

Hazel Sheffield
Wednesday 18 November 2015 15:13 GMT
The average weekly wage was £534 in 2003, more than in 2015
The average weekly wage was £534 in 2003, more than in 2015

The average UK employee earns less than they did in 2003.

The shocking statistic has been revealed by the Office of National Statistics in an annual survey of hours and earnings.

In 2015, employees took home £528 a week on average, up from £518 in 2014, according to the annual survey. This falls short of the average £534 paid to UK employees every week in 2003.

Charles Cotton, pay and reward adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said that the biggest problem in the workforce is productivity.

"Until we see gains in productivity, people are unlikely to feel the benefit in their pay packets so businesses need to concentrate on better people management and better working practices to shift the dial on this," Cotton said.

The minimum hourly rate for workers aged 25 or over will go from £6.70 to £7.20 on April 1. This will push up wages at more than half of employers, putting pressure on budgets. Employers may seek savings through increased productivity.

Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief at, said that higher living costs are putting pressure on households with low income.

“While wages are starting to creep up, most of us aren’t being paid much more than we were 10 years ago.

"Low inflation has helped to lighten the load on household budgets, especially where day to day spending is concerned, but as soon as prices start to creep back up we’ll all feel the squeeze once again," Maundrell said.

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