REAL-TERM average earnings have plummeted in York over the past six years, according to a new survey.

The GMB union’s study of official earnings data showed that average earnings in the city fell between 2008 and 2014, from £24,813 to £24,307. When inflation was factored in, this was a real-terms drop of 21.5 per cent.

In North Yorkshire, average earnings had risen slightly from £24,271 to £24,480 in six years, amounting to a drop in real value of 18.6 per cent when inflation is factored in.

Overall Yorkshire and the Humber witnessed a real-term drop in average annual earnings of 17.7 per cent between 2008 and 2014, while the North East saw a decrease of 9.7 per cent.

The GMB said it analysed the 2008-14 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings published by the Office for National Statistics.

The analysis of official figures showed that the biggest regional fall was in London at 23 per cent, followed by Northern Ireland and Yorkshire and the Humber at 17 per cent.

Its regional secretary Billy Coates said: “These figures are a damning and shocking indictment of the way the Tories have run the economy. It has been the bankers and financiers first and working people and their families last.

“This must change in 2015. If George Osborne is still in charge of the economy this time next year, Father Christmas will have to make half of his reindeers redundant and cut the pay of the elves by 25 per cent.”

Meanwhile, the TUC said pay packets had slumped by an average of £50 since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition took power in 2010.

Its general secretary Frances O’Grady said a low-wage economy was holding back growth and called on company bosses to “put money in workers’ pockets”.

Ross Smith, the director of policy at the North-East Chamber of Commerce, which represents a number of leading employers in the region, said: “The fall in real wages is much less steep in the North East than the UK average at a time when our public sector has been under huge pressure, so these figures are a demonstration of the relative success of businesses in this region sustaining and creating good quality jobs.

“Like households, businesses have faced mounting cost pressures over that time, most notably a major recession, so it has been difficult to offer real terms wage increases when productivity has stalled.”