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New report says workers in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough struggling with falling real value earnings
WORKERS across the North-East are among the worst-hit in the country by the recession, a report has said.
Nationally, workers saw an average drop of 13.8 per cent between April 2008 and November 2013.
GMB bosses have called for pay rises, say working people are having to stave off the rising cost of living with diminishing wages, and John Cridland, director-general at business organisation CBI, also says companies must pay more.
The report, published by the Office for National Statistics, revealed workers' real value earnings in Hartlepool fell by more than 22 per cent, with 15 per cent falls in Middlesbrough and North Tyneside.
According to the figures, the mean gross annual earnings of an employee stood at £23,307 in November, a fall from £24,416 in 2008.
In Middlesbrough, it increased slightly to £19,631 from £19,092, and stands at £22,551 from £21,960 in North Tyneside.
The report said mean gross annual earnings for the whole of the North-East was £23,435, a rise from £21,463 in April 2008.
However, bosses say with inflation rising by 17.8 per cent, the drop in real value of average earnings in the five-year period has been 8.6 per cent.
Billy Coates, GMB regional secretary for the North-East, said “These alarming figures show how hard pressed working people across the UK are struggling to pay their bills after years of wage decline and attacks on the living standards of families throughout the land.
“Working people deserve and need a decent pay rise to halt the drop in living standards.”
Across the region, the drop in gross average earnings for workers in Darlington and Newcastle was 9.3 per cent, with a 7.5 per cent fall across County Durham and 6.6 per cent decrease in Sunderland.
Stockton's rate fell by just 0.4 per cent.
The report added the North-East's drop in mean gross annual earnings was actually the lowest in the UK, with London seeing a 20.4 per cent drop and Yorkshire and The Humber seeing a 15 per cent fall in the same period.
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