Wages have been falling in real terms in the UK since May 2010, newly-released research has shown.
The Trades Union Congress' (TUC's) living standards index, which tracks the cost of living against average weekly earnings, found that real wage growth declined by 3.6 per cent in March 2012.
For households up and down the country, the biggest strain facing them at the moment is utility bills, which rose by 6.8 per cent in the month.
It comes after recent research by uSwitch.com found the typical cost of an energy bill has climbed by 140 per cent in the past eight years.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber noted soaring food costs and utility bills are hurting the poorest families in the nation.
"This squeeze on living standards is putting a terrible strain on family. The government must to do everything in its power to encourage more business investment and decently-paid jobs," he added.
Mr Barber also said that month-on-month, every household has been getting poorer in the past two years.