UK wages have grown at a record rate - but people are still over £200 worse off a week than they would have been if pre-financial crisis trends had continued.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics released on Tuesday showed pay grew by 7.8% in the three months to June.
This is the highest jump since comparable records began in 2001.
It means pay growth is now slightly below the rate of inflation, which is currently at 7.9%.
“Coupled with lower inflation, this means the position on people’s real pay is recovering and now looks a bit better than a few months back, Darren Morgan, from the ONS, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.
Nye Cominetti, from the the Resolution Foundation, said the figures showed an end to “Britain’s painful 18-month pay squeeze”.
The think-tank said average regular pay was now slightly higher than the pre-financial crisis 2008 peak in real terms - at £613 vs £612 per week respectively - for the first time outside of the pandemic period.
But Cominetti said the immediate good news for wages did not make up for an “unprecedented 15 year stagnation”.
Real regular pay is £230 per week lower than if real pay growth had continued at the pre-financial crisis trend of 2.1 per cent, he said.
Lib Dem Cabinet Office spokesperson Christine Jardine MP, said today’s wage figures were “cold comfort for families struggling to keep their heads above water”.
“Spiralling mortgage bills are wiping out any progress on pay rises, yet the chancellor continues to sit on his hands,” she said.
Sharon Graham, the general secretary of the Unite union, said: “Make no mistake, the battle to push up pay has been hard fought and it’s certainly far from over. Our economy is broken. Everyday people are suffering.”