Pay rise for a lucky few but most South West workers still earning less

 Analysis published by the TUC today (Tuesday) shows that despite some sectors gaining pay rises, real wages overall in the South West are still £21.78 a week lower than a decade ago.

The Government has been keen to herald a return to above inflation pay rises but any rises have not been spread equally or fairly.

In most sectors of the economy wages are still worth less than before the financial crisis. However, a small number of industries have bucked that trend.

Average real pay in the financial sector has increased by 9.3% (£119 per week) since 2009 reaching a record average of £1,405 per week – driven by big pay rises for London’s bankers.

Other sectors that have seen real wage growth include, retail and hospitality – boosted by increases to the minimum wage.

Nurses and teachers amongst hardest hit 

While pay has recovered for bankers, the story is very different for public sector workers.

People employed in health and social work and education are still £36 a week worse off than in 2009.

The TUC says this is a clear consequence of the government’s decision to hold back the pay of hardworking teachers, nurses and other public servants behind rising prices.

Real pay for workers in manufacturing of food and drink, a key sector for the West Country, is still down by £52 per week.

TUC South West Regional Secretary Nigel Costley said:

“It’s not right that pay is racing ahead in the City when most working people in regions like the South West are still worse off than a decade ago.

“The architects of the financial crisis are earning record amounts while teachers and nurses struggle to get by.

“Workers deserve a much fairer share of the wealth they create.  That’s why unions need new rights to access workplaces and negotiate industry-wide rates.

“Pay inequality helped drive the last financial crash. It can’t be left unaddressed.”

A more detailed analysis

Industrial sector

Dec 2008
– Feb 2009 

Dec 2018 
– Feb 2019

% change

£ change

Financial & Insurance Activities

1286

1405

9.3

119

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

373

398

6.7

25

Manufacturing: Chemicals, man-made fibres

732

772

5.5

40

Retail Trade and Repairs

317

331

4.3

14

Administrative & Support Service Activities

419

435

4.0

17

Manufacturing: Engineering & Allied Industries

688

703

2.1

14

Transport and Storage

599

608

1.5

9

Accommodation & Food Service Activities

254

256

0.9

2

Information and Communication

870

876

0.6

5

Manufacturing: Textile, Leather & Clothing

439

439

0.0

0

Real Estate Activities

531

522

-1.6

-9

Wholesale Trade

636

618

-2.8

-18

Mining and Quarrying

1276

1240

-2.9

-36

Other Manufacturing

558

541

-3.0

-17

Electricity, Gas and Water Supply

720

696

-3.4

-25

Manufacturing: Metals & Metal Products

608

585

-3.7

-23

Construction

656

630

-4.0

-26

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

430

405

-5.9

-25

Professional, Scientific & Technical

772

724

-6.3

-48

Education

485

448

-7.5

-36

Health and Social Work

478

441

-7.6

-36

Public Administration

640

583

-8.9

-57

Manufacturing: Food, Beverage & Tobacco

571

519

-9.1

-52

Other Service Activities
(incl. membership organisations, repair services)

472

386

-18.2

-86

 

– Methodology: The TUC analysis compared quarterly figures from the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey for December 2008-February 2009 and December 2018-February 2019 (EARN03 ‘average weekly earnings by industry’). Figures are adjusted for inflation using CPI for 2019Q1. Figures include bonuses and arrears. The source data is here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/april2019/relateddata

– Regional weekly pay 
The calculations for earnings in the South West are based on median weekly earnings for all employees excluding overtime, from table 7 in the ASHE 2008 and 2018 datasets. Price effects removed using the CPI measure of annual inflation for April. CPI was the government’s preferred measure of inflation until 2017. The treatment of housing costs in CPIH changed significantly in 2014, so it can-not be used when looking at earlier years.

The figure of -£21 for the change in the average wage across the whole economy from Dec08-Feb09 to Dec18-Feb19 is derived from ONS data for the whole economy in EARN02, which gives non-seasonally adjusted figures. This provides a more accurate comparison with the figures in EARN03, which are also non-seasonally adjusted. This figure also includes bonuses and arrears, so differs from the monthly figure for regular pay issued by the ONS.

–  Fairer pay for all workers: To achieve fair pay for all working people, the TUC is calling for:

·         A £10 an hour national minimum wage and an end to discrimination against young workers through lower rates of minimum wage

·         Workers to be elected onto remuneration committees to help curb greed at the top

·         Legal requirements on employers to report on and act to close race, gender and disability pay gaps

·         New employment rights for insecure workers, including a ban on zero-hours contracts and bogus self-employment

·         Full employment rights from day one for all workers, including protection from unfair dismissal

– A stronger voice at work: To ensure everyone has fair treatment at work and can negotiate fair pay and conditions, the TUC is calling for:

·         New rights to give unions access to every workplace so that nobody has to face their employer alone

·         New rights for unions to bargain for fair pay and conditions across industries, ending the race to the bottom

·         An end to the unfair and undemocratic trade union act that restricts the right to strike

– About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 49 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

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