19/10/2011 13:26 BST | Updated 19/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Average Earnings Falling In 284 Professions, Says GMB Union

Average earnings have fallen in hundreds of professions ranging from hairdressing and sales to teaching and town planning in the past few years, according to a new study.

Research by the GMB union showed that annual average pay of full-time employees in 284 occupations, covering 90% of the UK's workforce, fell by up to 20% in the four years to last month.

The biggest falls were in professions including TV engineers, investment advisers, public relations officers and plant and machine operatives.

The lowest falls included librarians, train drivers, forestry workers, midwives and chiropodists, said the GMB.

General Secretary Paul Kenny said: "These figures show that the Government's strategy for an economic recovery is in tatters. George Osborne has the economic literacy of a stick of rhubarb.

"Everyone from plasterers to IT specialists, from travel agents to midwives, from hairdressers to police inspectors have seen the value of their earning drop when they have a job. It has got a lot worse in the past year as the recovery under way at the time of the election stalled.

"Two thirds of the economy is consumer-driven and Osborne must be the only person who does not get it.

"Squeezing wages, pay freezes and cutting jobs will not restart the economy. Using the IMF measures, his cuts will reduce real private consumption by 4% and GDP by 3.4% over the next few years."