Issue date
22 Feb 2015

In some parts of Wales half of jobs are paying less than the living wage, Wales TUC reveals today (Monday) at the start of the second week of the TUC’s Fair Pay Fortnight campaign.

TUC analysis of official figures from the House of Commons Library shows that close to one in four jobs (23.9 per cent) in Wales pays less than the living wage – currently set at £7.85 – but in some parliamentary constituencies many more people working there earn less than this.

Across Great Britain, more than five million people get paid less than the living wage. In Wales, Dwyfor Meirionnydd tops the list of living wage black spots with 50.9 per cent of the jobs based there paying less than the living wage. This is followed by Rhondda (38.9 per cent), Clwyd South (38.8 per cent) and Gower (37 per cent).

For working women the picture is bleaker still. In Dwyfor Meirionnydd over half (53.1 per cent) of jobs pay less than the living wage, followed by Alyn and Deeside (45.1 per cent), and both Gower and Rhondda on 45 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, in some parts of Wales workers fare much better. Just 11.4 per cent of jobs in Cardiff North pay less than the living wage, followed by Caerphilly (14.3 per cent), Bridgend (18 per cent) and Aberavon (18.4 per cent).

Wales TUC National Officer Julie Cook said: “Extending the living wage is a vital step towards tackling the growing problem of in-work poverty across Wales – and Britain as a whole.

“Working families have experienced the biggest squeeze on their living standards since Victorian times, and these living wage figures show that women are disproportionately affected. Pay has been squeezed at all levels below the boardroom, and the UK government’s mantra about making ‘work pay’ is completely out of touch with reality.

“The number of living wage employers is growing rapidly and unions are playing their part in encouraging more employers to sign up and pay it. But we need to see a far wider commitment to pay the living wage from governments, employers and modern wages councils – to drive up productivity and set higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay their staff more.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Top five Wales living wage blackspots (men and women)

Parliamentary constituency

Per cent employees paid below living wage

1

Dwyfor Meirionnydd

50.9%

2

Rhondda

38.9%

3

Clwyd South

38.8%

4

Gower

37.0%

5

Ogmore

32.2%

Top five Wales living wage brightspots (men and women)

Parliamentary constituency

Per cent employees paid below living wage

1

Cardiff North

11.4%

2

Caerphilly

14.3%

3

Bridgend

18.0%

4

Aberavon

18.4%

5

Cardiff South

20.3%

Top five Wales living wage blackspots (women)

Parliamentary constituency

Percentage of people working there paid less than the living wage

1

Dwyfor Meirionnydd

53.1%

2

Alyn and Deeside

45.1%

3

Gower

45.0%

4

Rhondda

45.0%

5

Clwyd South

43.9%

Top five Wales living wage brightspots (women)

Parliamentary constituency

Percentage of women working there paid less than the living wage

1

Cardiff North

12.9%

2

Swansea East

21.0%

3

Arfon

21.8%

4

Bridgend

22.0%

5

Vale of Clywd

22.6%

House of Commons Library figures, based on data from the Office for National Statistics

- The full analysis of who is paid under the living wage by constituency and local authority is available through the Office of National Statistics/ House of Commons: Percentage of employee jobs with hourly pay excluding overtime below the living wage by region and parliamentary constituency (place of work), UK, April 2013 and 2014

- The TUC is organising Fair Pay Fortnight 2015 between Monday 16 February and Sunday 1 March. The Fortnight is part of the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign and will feature a series of events across England and Wales to raise awareness about low pay, pay inequality and the need for higher pay settlements in the public and private sector. For more information please visit www.fairpayfortnight.org

- Follow the campaign in Wales on twitter @walestuc

Contacts:

Media enquiries:


Alex Bevan   T: 02920 347 010  M: 07912851929   E: abevan@tuc.org.uk