Wages at lowest levels for a decade
Brits now earn the same amount they did in 2003 after inflation has taken its toll on our wages.
Using today's prices as a constant, real wages peaked in 2009 when median gross earnings per hour were £12.25, figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal.
However, in 2012 this dropped to £11.21, broadly in line with the £11.24 hourly wage of 2003.
The ONS also points out there has been an annual average drop in real pay of nearly 3% between 2010 and 12.
In a statement, it said: "Although it is too early to be sure whether there has been a permanent change in the long-term trend, the decline in real wages has now been sustained for three consecutive years."
Full-time male employees in the private sector have seen the greatest decline in real earnings since the recession.
In 2012, their average earnings were worth less in real terms than in 2002 (which were £12.37 and £12.67 respectively).
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).