The industry is among the hardest hit by a fall in take home pay when the figures are adjusted for inflation.
The numbers will be detailed in a BBC Panorama programme tonight highlighting the effect of pay freezes and a rising inflation rate.
The average British worker earned £20,149 at the start of 2011 – a real terms fall of 5% from what they were earning in the middle of the recession.
The research was based on actual salaries paid into bank accounts.
It was carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Studies and based on data on salaries from the payment processor, Vocalink, which looks after more than 90% of deposits into employees’ bank accounts.
Construction staff were hit even harder with pay packets suffering a £99 per month drop or £1,188 per year compared to the all industry average of £1,088.
The research shows that if you allow for inflation, the average take-home pay is lower today than it was in 2004.