Workers in the West Midlands saw their salaries fall by more than £400 last year, official figures show.
Staff in the private sector suffered the biggest cuts, but public sector workers also saw pay cut in real terms. The West Midlands continues to lag behind wages in the South and Scotland.
The figures were revealed by an annual survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics.
The median salary for a full-time worker in the region, including overtime and any bonuses, is £24,920 – down from £25,328 in 2013.
This is a fall of £408 a year, and means salaries were cut by 1.6 per cent for people right in the middle of the pay scale.
And this is before inflation is taken into account. The official measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index, is currently running at 1.3 per cent.
An alternative measure, the Retail Price Index, which includes housing costs, is running at 2.3 per cent.
This suggests that pay is falling at a time when the cost of living is increasing. The region is also bucking the national trend, because across the UK as a whole salaries rose slightly – but only by 0.7 per cent, far below inflation.
The median private sector salary in the West Midlands fell from £24,247 in 2013 to £23,769 this year, a fall of two per cent.
Public sector pay in the region remained roughly level at £28,393 per annum (a fall of £7 per annum). However, this is a real terms cut once inflation is taken into account.
If earners are ranked according to salary, with the lowest paid at one end and the highest at the other, the median salary would be the salary earned by the person in the middle.
There continues to be a massive gap in the amount earned by men and women.
Median pay for male full-time workers in the West Midlands is £27,230 per annum, while for women it is £21,841 – more than £5,000 a year less. Even so, the gender pay gap appears to be falling. The statistics do not mean women are paid less for doing the same job, as they may reflect men and women doing different jobs. Nationally, the median weekly salary is £27,195.
The official statistics also show that one in ten West Midlands workers with a full-time job have annual earnings of £13,891 or less.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Ordinary households are not sharing in the recovery and the recession in their wages continues despite the economy’s return to growth.”
Nicky Morgan, the Minister for Women and Equalities, highlighted figures showing the gender pay gap had narrowed, but added: “There is more to be done and the Government will continue to work with industry to make sure it reduces even further.”