WE’RE AMONG THE LOW­EST PAID IN UK

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

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.”

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