British workers have suffered a fall in wages during the financial crisis more severe than that suffered in the 1980s, 1990s and 1930s according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The IFS calculates that workers have suffered unprecedented pay cuts of 6% per cent in real terms. Historically wages have risen by around 2%  a year.

It says the crisis is marked out as different this time by a number of factors, not all bad, it must be said.

* The period since the recession began in 2008 has seen the longest and deepest loss of output in a century and the largest public sector deficit since the Second World War.

* Real wages have fallen by more than in any comparable five year period.

* Productivity levels have dropped to an unprecedented degree.

* Employment has dropped by much less than in previous recessions.

* Inequality has fallen in sharp contrast to the 1980s recession and its aftermath.

* Older workers and consumers have been much less affected than younger generations.

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