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).