RESIDENTS in Bracknell Forest are feeling the pinch as they show a slight drop in earnings through the recession.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, by the GMB union, workers in Bracknell Forest are earning an average of �18 a year less than in 2008.

Wokingham's average earnings increased from �34,819 to �35,739 in the same period, and there was also a rise in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead - which includes the Ascot area - from �42,436 to �43,113.

David Knowles-Leak, chairman of the Thames Valley FSB, said the recession has resulted in a real turn-down, with people not getting discretionary benefits and more part-time work being created.

He added: "Why it's gone up in boroughs but gone down in Bracknell - I don't know."

Despite Bracknell Forest's fall, the average change across the UK is up 2% - from �26,137 in 2008 to �26,664 last year - but this represents a 12.8% drop in real terms taking into account the current costs of goods and services.

Reading had the highest growth in Berkshire, rising from �27,460 to �29,502.

However, West Berkshire had the biggest drop in the whole of the South East, with workers earning 20.4% less than in 2008, dropping from �33,137 to �31,269.