GMB welcome news of rising wages in the Dorset and Wiltshire but says there is still a long way to go

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GMB welcome news of earnings rising by 2.9% in three months to march as earnings in Dorset and Wiltshire need to increase by 10.7% to catch up with 2007. “News that wages have risen is welcome but there is still a very long way to go to make up the ground lost due to the recession in 2008 and inflation since then”, says GMB Southern

GMB Southern have welcomed new statistics from the Office of National Statistics, which shows wages rising at an annual rate of 2.9% in the three months to March, faster than the 2.7 % inflation, but cautioned that there was a very long way to go before earnings in the Dorset and Wiltshire area recover from the drop of 10.7% compared to earnings in 2007.

A study of official data by the GMB from January 2018 showed that in the Dorset and Wiltshire area full-time workers mean gross annual pay in 2017 was just 89.1% of what it was in 2007. In 2007 the mean gross annual pay of full-time workers was £27,570. In 2017 that figure was £32,349, which when you factor in inflation at 31.7%, sees a decrease in pay of 10.9%.

Over the same period the decrease in earnings in the United Kingdom was 10.4%. In 2007 full-time workers mean gross annual pay in the UK was £30,015. By 2017 the figure was £35,423. After inflation, this is just 89.6% of what workers were earning in 2007.

The full-time workers gross annual pay in East Dorset in 2017 was just 78.8% of what it was in 2007. This was the biggest decrease in the Dorset and Wiltshire region. It was followed by West Dorset at 80.1%, followed by Poole 85.3%, Wiltshire 86.1%, Weymouth and Portland 87.7%, and Purbeck 89.5%. No areas saw an increase in earnings over the 10-year period.

The figures covering the 10 councils that make up the Dorset and Wiltshire area are set out in the table available for download on the right, ranked by the highest percentage drop since 2007. This is from a new study by GMB Southern Region of official data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for 10 councils in the Dorset and Wiltshire area. It compares full-time workers mean gross annual pay in 2007 and 2017, followed by 2017 earnings as a percentage of 2007 earnings after inflation is considered.

Results for 2003 and earlier exclude supplementary surveys. In 2006 there were a number of methodological changes made. For further details go to:

Estimates for 2011 and subsequent years use a weighting scheme based on occupations which have been coded according to Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2010 that replaced SOC 2000. Therefore care should be taken when making comparisons with earlier years.

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary said:

"GMB welcome this news that wages have risen but there is still a very long way to go to make up the ground lost due to the recession in 2008 and inflation since then.

"Earlier this year GMB showed that across the Dorset and Wiltshire region as a whole the real value of average wages for worker’s resident in the region in 2017 was only 89.1% of the buying power they had in 2007 when inflation is factored in as this latest study by GMB shows. Indeed residents in 5 of the 10 areas in the region fared much worse than this with residents in some areas very badly hit.

"Two conclusions can be drawn from the study. The first is that the impact on the living standards of ordinary workers of the bankers recession in 2008 onwards is still with us a decade later. Not a single person has been punished by a prison sentence for the recklessness and law breaking that has had catastrophic consequences as these figures show. The Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers show that tax evasion and tax avoidance are still going ahead undealt with on an industrial scale.The second conclusion is that ordinary workers require substantial pay increases to make up the lost ground. These increases are needed to boost spending power to keep economic growth on track."

Contact: Michelle Gordon 07866 369 259 or GMB Press Office 07970 114 762

Notes to Editors:

1] Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics, Crown Copyright Reserved

2] The figures are annual Mean salary for all Full-time employees, residential based

3] ASHE is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs, drawn from HM Revenue and Customs Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records

4] Inflation rate between April 2007 and April 2017 was 31.74%

5] Figures marked as # are suppressed as statistically unreliable