The real value of average earnings in some areas of the South West has fallen by almost 20% since the recession five years ago, an “alarming” new study has shown.
Across the region incomes dropped by 13.7% between April 2008 and November 2013, according to a GMB study of official earnings data, just below the national average.
In Devon, though, the rate was 19.5% putting it third in a regional table of areas worst affected by the recession after Swindon (20.9%) and North Somerset (20.1%).
The figures, based on official data, showed drops in gross average earnings for all employees in Plymouth of 14.6%, Cornwall 12.0%, Somerset 10.7%, Torbay 8.6% and Dorset 8.4%.
Unions have been warning all year that wages have failed to keep up with inflation, adding that workers were missing out on the upturn in the economy, including an increase in jobs.