Issue date
  • New Wales TUC analysis shows workers in Swansea are set to be over £1,000 a year worse off in 2022 – after inflation – than last year
  • Years of weak wage growth have left families “badly exposed” to cost-of-living crisis, says Wales TUC
  • Analysis published as the Wales TUC brings workers and trade union leaders together for a rally in Swansea on Monday 10 Oct ahead of a UK parliamentary lobby on 2 November

Pay packets in Swansea are set to be worth over £1,000 a year less this year – in real terms, that is once inflation has been taken into consideration – than in 2021, according to new Wales TUC analysis.

The analysis of official data shows that average real wages will fall by around £1,031 compared to last year.

The stark findings are published as the Wales TUC and Swansea Trades Council bring together union leaders and workers in Swansea on Monday ahead of the union body’s National Day of Action to demand better for working people – and a UK parliamentary lobby on 2 November. Speakers at Monday’s rally will include leading figures from the RMT, NEU, PCS and Wales TUC.

The analysis shows the median salary in Swansea in 2021 was £23,383. Wales TUC analysis, based on Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts, shows the value of wages in Swansea will fall by around £1,031 as soaring inflation outstrips the increase in wages.

The Wales TUC says years of stagnating pay have left workers “badly exposed” to Britain’s cost of living crisis.

The union body says the UK Government must take urgent action to raise wages and protect families from spiralling household costs.

Urgent action

The Wales TUC says governments in Westminster and Cardiff must:

Raise wages and improve workers’ rights by:

  • Introducing a £15 minimum wage as soon as possible
  • Providing funding for a fair pay rise for all public sector workers
  • Banning zero-hours contracts and fire and rehire
  • Bringing forward inflation-proof raises to universal credit and pensions to October
  • Introducing new bargaining rights for whole industries and protecting the right to strike
  • Raising women’s incomes and stopping workplace racism

Reduce household costs by:

  • Cutting energy bills, nationalising energy retail and setting up a new public energy champion
  • Rolling out a rapid programme of home insulation

Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:

“Families are under intolerable financial pressure with costs spiralling out of control.

“Workers in Wales are facing the biggest fall in living standards in generations.

“We have workers in the public sector in Wales who are pawning possessions, taking second jobs and turning to gambling to make ends meet.

"Workers deserve better. Governments in Cardiff and London must do more to help working people have a decent standard of living – starting with getting wages rising.

“Now is the time for workers to come together and demand better.”


Editors note

Notes to editors:

The meeting at the Volcano Theatre on 10 October will start at 7.00pm. Speakers will include John Leach, RMT Deputy General Secretary; Kevin Courtney NEU General Secretary; Shavanah Taj Wales TUC General Secretary; and Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary.  


- Annual pay figures for 2021 taken from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. Estimate for real wage growth in 2022 is based on TUC analysis, using nominal wage forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility and inflation forecasts published by the Treasury. Real wages are calculated using CPI, 2021=100.

- We Demand Better – National Day of Action: The TUC is organising a national day of action for working people and their supporters to demand a real pay rise for every worker.

The National Day of Action on 14 October will see volunteers and activists hand out leaflets to people on their way to work and school, at train stations across the country.

By leafleting in our communities, we can spread the message that only working people can deliver change and pressure the government to listen — and act.

- TUC lobby of Parliament: On 2 November, we want every MP to hear from workers from their constituency about the reality of the cost-of-living crisis.

Join the mass lobby of MPs in London and ask your MP to support a budget that delivers for working people.

To find out more information about the National Day of Action and lobby of MPs, visit the ‘Autumn of action’ section of the TUC website: