Just weeks ago the Office for National Statistics announced that UK employment was at its highest in nearly 50 years.
More than 130,000 women had benefited from a jobs boom, reports suggested, with older people also finding more work opportunities.
But now figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) suggest this has made no difference to household income at all.
Despite five years of recovery from post-recession dips, the median income has stalled (after adjusting for inflation) – for only the fourth time in 30 years – and stopped progress made to reduce absolute poverty in its tracks.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said this pointed to the effects of higher inflation after the Brexit referendum caused the pound to crash, as well as working age benefits freezes.
Pascale Bourquin, a research economist at IFS, said the figures are “eroding the real value of employees’ earnings and – in particular – working age benefits, which were frozen in cash terms.