Estate agents' and traffic wardens' pay hit hardest since 2008

23-Jul-2019

Estate agents and traffic wardens are among the workers to suffer the worst fall in wages over the past ten years — despite average UK pay growth accelerating to levels not seen since July 2008, analysis by income-streaming app Wagestream reveals today.

The Treasury yesterday (22/07/2019) announced a £2bn pay rise for public sector workers, with soldiers getting a 2.9% rise, while teachers and other school staff get 2.75%, police officers, dentists and consultants 2.5% and senior civil servants 2%.  

It is more good news for workers after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed last Tuesday (16/07/2019) that UK wages rose 3.6% in the three months to May compared with a year earlier, beating inflation which is currently 2%.

But the real picture for UK wages over the past ten years is less positive, with many occupations seeing big falls in their salary in real terms since the 2008 financial crash.

 

Door-to-door salespeople saw their average salary fall by 30.2% in that period — plunging from £23,654 in 2008 to £16,505 in 2018, according to ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings data. The drop is even worse when their 2008 salary is adjusted for inflation, equating to a 46.7% plunge in real terms.

 

Other occupations to see a dramatic drop in average wages included estate agents and auctioneers (down 12.6% from £34,787 in 2008 to £30,411 in 2018 — or down 33.3% in real terms); management consultants, actuaries, economists and statisticians (down 11.6% from £53,042 to £46,891 — or down 32.5% in real terms); and traffic wardens (down 7.6% from £21,908 to £20,243 — or down 29.5% in real terms).

 

Nurses’ salaries rose 16.9% (up from £28,242 in 2008 to £33,025 in 2018), but their 2008 salary is equal to £36,997 in 2018 money, meaning their wages have really fallen 10.7%. Police officers above the rank of inspector saw wages rise 11.4% (up from £54,720 in 2008 to £60,950 in 2018), which was a real-terms fall of 15% given their 2008 salary should be worth £71,683 by now. 

 

Secondary school teachers’ pay rose 7.3% (from £35,850 in 2008 to £38,478) but fell 18% compared to what their 2008 salary would be when inflation was taken into account (£46,963).

The following table shows the 33 occupations that have seen average wages fall by more than a quarter in real terms over the past decade.

Occupation

Salary - 2008 (£)

2008 salary adjusted for inflation (£)

Salary - 2018 (£)

Change 2008 to 2018 (%)

Real terms fall 2008 to 2018 (%)

Collector salespersons and credit agents

23,654

30,987

16,505

-30.2

-46.7

Leisure and travel service occupations

25,561

33,485

20,849

-18.4

-37.7

Managers in mining and energy

69,739

91,358

58,711

-15.8

-35.7

Estate agents, auctioneers

34,787

45,571

30,411

-12.6

-33.3

Electronics engineers

48,023

62,910

42,221

-12.1

-32.9

Management consultants, actuaries, economists and statisticians

53,042

69,485

46,891

-11.6

-32.5

Construction operatives 

28,568

37,424

25,517

-10.7

-31.8

Energy plant operatives

35,682

46,743

32,023

-10.3

-31.5

Health Professionals

70,257

92,037

64,753

-7.8

-29.6

Traffic wardens

21,908

28,699

20,243

-7.6

-29.5

Moulders, core makers, die casters

25,843

33,854

24,028

-7.0

-29.0

Chartered surveyors (not quantity surveyors)

44,432

58,206

41,460

-6.7

-28.8

Education officers, school inspectors

42,525

55,708

39,902

-6.2

-28.4

Product, clothing and related designers

36,763

48,160

34,623

-5.8

-28.1

Conservation Associate Professionals

26,546

34,775

25,015

-5.8

-28.1

Air travel assistants

24,486

32,077

23,346

-4.7

-27.2

Corporate Managers And Senior Officials 

146,701

192,178

140,059

-4.5

-27.1

Chemists

40,595

53,179

38,934

-4.1

-26.8

Inspectors of factories, utilities and trading standards

35,889

47,015

34,502

-3.9

-26.6

Managers In Farming, Horticulture, Forestry And Fishing

31,733

41,570

30,524

-3.8

-26.6

Architects, Town Planners, Surveyors

44,995

58,943

43,668

-2.9

-25.9

Teaching professionals

28,688

37,581

27,866

-2.9

-25.9

Finance and investment analysts/advisers

51,738

67,777

50,333

-2.7

-25.7

Medical practitioners

84,012

110,056

81,943

-2.5

-25.5

Business And Finance Associate Professionals

46,425

60,817

45,349

-2.3

-25.4

Health and social welfare associate professionals

27,312

35,779

26,696

-2.3

-25.4

Printers

26,534

34,760

25,968

-2.1

-25.3

Journalists have seen their salaries rise by 13.8% on average, growing from £35,580 on average in 2008 to £40,490 in 2018. But when taking inflation into account, their average 2018 salary should be £46,610, meaning that their wages have fallen by 13.1% in real terms.

Only a few professions are better off than they were in 2008, when inflation is taken into account. Pub landlords, train drivers, tax experts, taxi drivers, air traffic controllers and legal professionals have all enjoyed above-inflation wage increases.

The following table shows how a selection of occupations have fared over the past ten years in terms of average wages.

 

Occupation

Salary - 2008 (£)

2008 salary adjusted for inflation (£)

Salary - 2018 (£)

Change 2008 to 2018 (%)

Real terms fall 2008 to 2018 (%)

Medical practitioners

84,012

110,056

81,943

-2.5

-25.5

Driving instructors

25,911

33,943

25,899

0.0

-23.7

Insurance underwriters

45,480

59,579

45,644

0.4

-23.4

Bricklayers, masons

25,078

32,852

26,022

3.8

-20.8

Ambulance staff (excluding paramedics)

22,709

29,749

24,139

6.3

-18.9

Legal Professionals

56,666

74,232

62,913

11.0

-15.2

Chartered and certified accountants

40,524

53,086

45,093

11.3

-15.1

Police officers (inspectors and above)

54,720

71,683

60,950

11.4

-15.0

Teaching Professionals

35,601

46,637

39,672

11.4

-14.9

Electricians, electrical fitters

29,107

38,130

32,627

12.1

-14.4

Journalists, newspaper and periodical editors

35,580

46,610

40,490

13.8

-13.1

Travel agents

19,919

26,094

22,675

13.8

-13.1

Fire service officers (leading fire officer and below)

30,630

40,125

34,967

14.2

-12.9

Midwives

31,576

41,365

36,265

14.8

-12.3

Motor mechanics, auto engineers

24,695

32,350

28,445

15.2

-12.1

Nurses

28,242

36,997

33,025

16.9

-10.7

Postal workers, mail sorters, messengers, couriers

22,749

29,801

26,770

17.7

-10.2

Hairdressers, barbers

13,546

17,745

16,233

19.8

-8.5

Clergy

22,488

29,459

27,132

20.7

-7.9

Heavy goods vehicle drivers

24,442

32,019

29,673

21.4

-7.3

Higher education teaching professionals

43,502

56,988

52,833

21.4

-7.3

Electrical engineers

43,155

56,533

52,457

21.6

-7.2

Bar staff

12,190

15,969

15,023

23.2

-5.9

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

63,362

83,004

78,615

24.1

-5.3

Waiters, waitresses

11,876

15,558

15,082

27.0

-3.1

Publicans and managers of licensed premises

21,348

27,966

29,119

36.4

4.1

Train drivers

39,172

51,315

54,348

38.7

5.9

Farmers

20,766

27,203

28,851

38.9

6.1

Taxation experts

36,895

48,332

54,426

47.5

12.6

Taxi, cab drivers and chauffeurs

17,739

23,238

26,625

50.1

14.6

Air traffic controllers

58,656

76,839

93,895

60.1

22.2

Legal professionals n.e.c.

43,631

57,157

85,071

95.0

48.8

 

Among the biggest winners over the decade were air traffic controllers, whose pay soared 60.1%, rising from £58,656 in 2008 to £93,895 in 2018. Other bumper wage rises went to taxi, cab drivers and chauffeurs (up 50.1% from £17,739 to £26,625); taxation experts (up     47.5% from £36,895 to £54,426); farmers (up 38.9% from £20,766 to £28,851); and train drivers (up 38.7% from £39,172 to £54,348).

 

Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder, Wagestream, commented: 


“It is great news that pay growth is the highest it has been in ten years, but many workers have seen their salaries stagnate and even fall dramatically over that time.


“Most UK workers are still in a worse position than they were in 2008, with very few people seeing a real-terms pay increase over that period.


“Some of the UK’s lowest-paid people have been hit by falling wages, resulting in their disposable income being cut to nothing, and making budgeting harder.

"And when family budgets are so tight, just one unexpected bill or expense like a car breakdown can push people towards expensive payday lenders or loan sharks.

“One of the biggest cashflow problems for employees is the inflexibility of the monthly pay cycle, But employers can help workers on even the lowest salaries by putting them in control of their own earnings by using income-streaming services like Wagestream. 

“Workers who are allowed to get their pay when they want it can avoid unnecessary interest payments and stressful payday loans.