More than 70 percent of a group of surveyed workers say they are struggling to get by.
1000 Council of Trade Union members had their say in a survey, showing their incomes aren't keeping up with living costs, despite work loads getting heavier.
Council of Trade Union's Richard Wagstaff told Tim Dower while GDP may be rising, many workers salaries haven't kept pace with the economy's growth.
"People aren't getting the training they want, jobs are insecure and there's not good balance to working life."
Employers and Manufacturers Association's Alan McDonald says the real problem is that 70 percent of employers are unable to get workers with enough skills.
"There are systemic issues around how school and institution training is working, plus a lack of business investment because money's hard to access."
LISTEN ABOVE AS RICHARD WAGSTAFF AND ALAN MCDONALD SPEAKS TO TIM DOWER