NEW ECONOMIC FIGURES released by the Welsh Government show workers in North Wales earn on average more than £18 a week less than other workers across Wales.
Though North Wales has a higher employment rate, a lower inactivity and lower unemployment rate than the rest of Wales, the latest Regional Economic and Labour Market Profile for North Wales published by the Welsh Government showed gross full-time earnings in the region were below the national average, £502.30 a week compared to £520.70 across Wales.
Across the UK the average gross weekly wage is £607.10 per week.
The figures also showed a big disparity in earnings within the six local authority areas of North Wales. The Labour AM said the top economic priority for North Wales was in helping attract more high value jobs to the area over the next twelve months.
CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES said:
“The latest economic figures for North Wales highlight that the average full-time wage in the region is more than £18 less than in the rest of Wales.
“Whilst there is good news in the statistics that North Wales has a higher employment rate than other areas of the country, it does mean that these jobs tend to be less well paid than in other parts of Wales.
“There is also a worrying gap opening up within North Wales in terms of earnings within the six local authorities in the region. In Flintshire gross average earnings were over £542 a week, but in Gwynedd the average full-time worker earns £100 a week less at £442 a week and in my own authority of Wrexham the figure is £485 a week.
“The big economic priority for North Wales in 2013, that both the Welsh and UK Governments need to be focused on, is attracting more high value, better paid jobs to the region as well as getting a good mix of this employment across the region.
“We already have a good skills base in North Wales and a bank of knowledge in areas like aerospace, advanced manufacturing or in sectors like forestry that is highly valued by employers. However there is clearly more that we can and should be doing.
“Speaking to employers in my own constituency like Kronospan, it’s clear we need to make a priority of skills investment and re-double our efforts on developing more higher level apprenticeships.
“We also need to be giving more help to small indigenous start-ups across North Wales so it can become an engine of entrepreneurial activity and growth.”