Average wages across Shropshire rising faster than UK average

Average wages in the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Mid Wales areas have risen by less than eight per cent on average across the three areas, new figures show.

The latest ONS figures have been released as the cost-of-living crisis begins to bite and they show real wages continue to fall across the UK.

The figures show median pay in Telford and Wrekin was £2,014 per month in August – up from £1,854 a year before, a rise of 8.6 per cent in the last 12 months. In Shropshire the figure was £1, 947, a rise in the last 12 months of seven per cent.

But in Powys, average wages rose less than five per cent, with the median pay £1,848, up from £1,774 in 2021.

Nationally, median monthly wages have risen by 6.5 per-cent in the last year to £2,111 in August, but this still represents a real-terms pay cut thanks to soaring inflation.

The Trade Union Congress said the new Prime Minister Liz Truss "must get pay rising" ahead of a difficult winter, with many households worried how they will make ends meet.

Further ONS figures show real-terms pay excluding bonuses – taking inflation into account – fell by 2.8 per cent year on year between May and July across the country, among the largest drop seen since records began in 2011.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Every worker deserves a decent standard of living, and as the cost-of-living crisis intensifies, millions of families don’t know how they will make ends meet this winter."

Ms O'Grady urged Mrs Truss to increase pay packets, including boosting the minimum wage, giving public sector workers a "decent pay rise" and allowing unions to negotiate better compensation for working people.

Greg Thwaites, research director of think tank Resolution Foundation, said the only "chink of light" is the slight fall in inflation – which is still close to a 40-year high but eased slightly to 9.9 per cent in August from 10.1 per cent the month before.

It means pay packets might not shrink any faster, though they will not grow in the next year, he said.

Unemployment among 16 to 64-year-olds also continued to fall nationally year on year, reaching its lowest point since 1974 at 3.7 per cent in the three months to July, separate ONS statistics outline.

Mr Thwaites said: "Instead of the cost-of-living crisis tempting people back into work, more people are exiting the jobs market altogether, primarily due to poor health reasons".

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