WE’RE AMONG THE LOWEST PAID IN UK
Gwynedd: £421 Conwy: £449 Powys: £460 Anglesey: £467 Ceredigion: £468 Wrexham: £494 Denbighshire: £498 Flintshire: £536 AVERAGE wage packets in a North Wales county are among the lowest in Britain. The Office of National Statistics has released figures showing salaries in every UK county. It shows that average wages in Gwynedd are the third lowest in the UK, at £421 a week – only workers in Rossendale and Burnley in Lancashire had smaller pay packets. The county had the lowest salaries in Wales, with Conwy third from bottom with an average weekly wage of £449. Flintshire has the highest average wage in North Wales at £536. Aberconwy Conserva- tive AM Janet Finch-Saunders called on the Welsh Government to do more to encourage economic growth and business confidence in north west Wales with the aim of increasing wages.
She said: “It is alarming that of all 22 local authority areas in Wales, on average people are least well off in Anglesey, Conwy, and Gwynedd.
“This is a serious issue as it means that not only a county focused strategy is needed, but one for the whole of north west Wales.”
The median average across the UK is £550 a week, up 2.2% from £539 in 2016, with London the best-performing region with workers getting a median figure of £692.
Meanwhile the worst-paid workers by region are the East Midlands and Wales.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Median gross weekly earnings for full-time adults working in Wales increased again between 2016 and 2017, and we know that a record number of people are now in work, with unemployment at historically low levels and below the UK average.
“Through interventions such as Jobs Growth Wales, ReAct and our rapid support for the steel industry, the Welsh Government has consistently supported individuals and communities across Wales through one of the worst global recessions of all time and the pain caused by UK Government austerity and welfare cuts.
“From our support for Wylfa Newydd, new jobs at Chetwood Financial, our new Development Bank headquarters in Wrexham, investment in a new Advanced Manufacturing and Research Institute in Deeside and our work to maximise the economic opportunities resulting from the Northern Powerhouse Region, the Welsh Government is working hard to develop highly skilled job opportunities across North Wales.
“We are committed to further driving up wages through a range of economic measures that will help attract further inward investors to Wales, implement better fair working practices and tackle lower productivity through enhancing skills, leadership and innovation across Wales.
“Later this year the Economy Secretary will be publishing his Economic Action Plan to respond to the key challenges that Wales is facing and we look forward to working with the business sector to refine and implement this.”
A Gwynedd Council spokeswoman said: “As a council we are committed to addressing the long-term issue of low income levels in Gwynedd and in particular in the Meirionnydd and Dwyfor area.
“This matter is a priority in the Council’s Strategic Plan which includes a number of targeted actions to generate high quality employment opportunities for local people and to tackle the structural factors which cause low pay.”