Real pay for the average UK worker has suffered its biggest fall since 2013, according to official figures.

This comes as the cost of living crisis continues and gas prices are at a very high level.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said regular pay excluding bonuses tumbled 1.8% in the three months to February when taking soaring inflation into account as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) – the steepest fall since August to October 2013.

In February alone, real regular wages dropped 2.1% which was the biggest drop since August 2013, the ONS added.

While pay rose 4% in the quarter, it was far outstripped by inflation and experts have warned wages will lag even further behind rising prices this year as inflation is expected to rocket in the autumn.

Northwich Guardian: The spending power of the average UK worker has been decreased once more (PA)The spending power of the average UK worker has been decreased once more (PA)

The latest ONS labour market data also revealed another rise in the number of UK workers on payrolls, up by 35,000 between February and March to 29.6 million.

However, this was the smallest monthly increase since February last year while vacancies also saw the smallest rise since February to April 2021, up 50,200 at a record 1.29 million in January to March.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “Overall, employment in December-February was little changed on the previous three months, and so is still below its pre-pandemic level.

“While unemployment has fallen again, we are still seeing rising numbers of people disengaging from the labour market, and as they aren’t working or looking for work, are not counted as unemployed.

“Early estimates suggest there was only a small increase in the number of employees on payroll in March, while job vacancies, although again at a record high, rose at their slowest for nearly a year.

“While strong bonuses continue to mitigate the effects of rising prices on people’s total earnings, basic pay is now falling noticeably in real terms.”

The figures come amid forecasts that inflation will peak at nearly 9% this autumn, with official data on Wednesday set to show another steep rise in the CPI.

Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date, as well as signing up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.