Retail staff paid just £14 a week more than a decade ago


Average weekly pay in the retail and repair trades are up just 4%, or the equivalent of £14 extra, compared to what they were 10 years ago.

That’s according to numbers produced by the Trade Union Congress, which claims that while employees in certain segments are worse off, those working in financial and banking sectors are £120 a week better off.

In most sectors of the economy wages are still worth less than before the financial crisis.

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While retail has bucked that trend, staff in the wholesale and manufacturing trades are nearly £20 worse off a week, according to TUC.

Average real pay in the retail and repair sectors was £331 between December 2018 and February 2019 compared to £317 10 years previous.

It is thought that the increase in national minimum wage has helped to boost pay figures in retail.

Wholesale and manufacturing weekly pay was £618 and £541, respectively. The segments’ average weekly pay has fallen 3% in the last decade.  

Meanwhile, average real pay in the financial sector has increased by 9% since 2009, reaching a record average of £1,405 per week.

Public sector workers have generally been impacted worse. People employed in health and social work and education are still £36 a week worse off than in 2009.

The hardest hit workers are those working for membership organisations, repair services and in furnishings. Their pay £86 per week lower in real terms than a decade ago.  

TUC’s general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s not right that pay is racing ahead in the City when most working people are still worse off than a decade ago.

“The architects of the financial crisis are earning record amounts while teachers and nurses struggle to get by.

“Workers deserve a much fairer share of the wealth they create.  That’s why unions need new rights to access workplaces and negotiate industry-wide rates.

“Pay inequality helped drive the last financial crash. It can’t be left unaddressed.”

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Joe Peskett

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