The ONS said real wages fell 3.7% in the three months to May, the worst annual drop since records began in 2001. Regular pay went up 4.3%, but bonuses jumped 6.2%, largely driven by sums given out in the financial sector.
In the private sector, regular pay without bonuses saw its biggest rise since the three months to last September, but falling bonuses saw total pay drop in recent months. The employment rate remains below pre-pandemic levels despite increasing by 0.4 percentage points to 75.9%.
The Chancellor said the figures underlined how strong the jobs market continues to be, and that the government was providing help for households through cash grants and tax cuts.