What a drag: The chilling impact of unemployment on real wages

Paul Gregg, Stephen Machin

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Real wage growth in the UK labour market, since around 2003, has slowed down and stagnated. In this paper, we document the nature of real wage changes across the wage distribution over the last three decades, showing that the recent period of stagnant real wage growth represents a distinct break of trend that pre-dates the onset of recession. We explore whether unemployment has become a stronger moderating influence on real wage growth since the trend break and document, using aggregate economy wide data and regional panel data, that real wage-unemployment sensitivities have become stronger in the period from 2003 onwards.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherResolution Foundation
Commissioning bodyResolution Foundation
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • poverty
  • work and justice


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