Wages are still worth a third less in some parts of the country than a decade ago, according to a report.
Research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that the average worker has lost £11,800 in real earnings since 2008.
The UK has suffered the worst real wage slump among leading economies, the union organisation said.
The biggest losses have been in areas including the London borough of Redbridge, Epsom and Waverley in Surrey, Selby in North Yorkshire and Anglesey in north Wales, the studyfound.
Workers have suffered cumulative losses in inflation-adjusted pay ranging from just under £5,000 in north-east England to more than £20,000 in London, said the report.
The TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “The government has failed to tackle Britain’s cost-of-living crisis. As a result, millions of families will be worse off this Christmas than a decade ago.
“While pay packets have recovered in most leading economies, wage growth in the UK is stuck in the slow lane.
“Ministers need to wake up and get wages rising faster. This means cranking up the pressure on businesses to pay staff more, especially at a time when many companies are sitting on large profits.”
A government spokesman said: “The UK’s jobs market has never been stronger, employment is at a record high with more people in work in every region of the UK since 2010 and wages are now rising at their fastest in a decade.
“We have cut income tax for 31 million people, and through the national living wage we have helped to deliver the fastest wage growth in 20 years for over two million of the lowest-paid workers.”
Stephen Clarke, a senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation thinktank, said: “While wages are currently growing at their fastest rate in a decade and employment is at a record high, the sobering big picture is that inflation-adjusted pay is still almost £5,000 a year lower than when Lehman Brothers was still around.
“Stronger wage growth is needed to make 2019 a better year for living standards than this one.”
• This article was amended on 31 January 2019. An earlier version implied that the earning losses cited were to annual wages, when in fact they are cumulative over the course of the TUC study. In addition the headline has been changed to clarify that real wages have fallen by a third only in some areas of the UK.