It will be of no surprise that the average wage in Cornwall is much less than the national average. Figures recently released* show the reality of how far behind Cornwall is against the national average. Taking the average wage in Cornwall in isolation on its own is bad enough, but if you add in the average house price and /or the average rent and then add in the other costs of living, it paints a bleak picture for Cornwall.
The latest earnings figures from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings show that the average annual workplace gross earnings of an employee in Cornwall were £17,344 in 2014, up by only 0.1%. If you expressed this as a percentage of the UK average, this represents 79% of that average. Compared to other Unitaries, Counties and London Boroughs in the UK, Cornwall ranked 196th out of 200. This is depressing.
The annual earnings in Cornwall split into gender is:
- Earnings for males averaged £21,085, 78% of the UK average. Up by 3.8% on 2013.
- Earnings for females averaged £14,102, 82% of the UK average. Down by 0.4% on 2013.
- Full-time workers averaged £22,012, 81% of the UK total, part-time workers £8,633, 96% of the UK total.
The weekly and hourly wage in Cornwall:
- Average weekly earnings totalled £320.9, 77% of the UK average, full-time £425.7 and part-time £150.4.
- Average hourly earnings totalled £9.11, 79% of the UK average.
The data for Cornwall is available at the Parliamentary Constituency level. Here, Truro and Falmouth had the highest annual workplace earnings at £19,165 with South East Cornwall the lowest £15,304. Resident annual earnings equalled £18,354, 83% of the UK average. Lowest earnings were in St. Ives at £16,663 (76%) and highest in South East Cornwall at £20,812 (94%). The reason for the residential annual earning are different because this included those people who commute out of the Duchy. This is particularly the case in South East Cornwall.
The work place earning for the Parliamentary Constituencies are:
Cornwall: £17, 344 – 0.9%
- Camborne and Redruth: £18,089 – 0.8% change from 2013
- North Cornwall: £18,093 – 0.1% change from 2013
- South East Cornwall: £15,304 – 6.6 change from 2013
- St Austell and Newquay: £15,458 – minus 13.1 change from 2013
- St Ives: £16,359 – 1.1% change from 2013
- Truro and Falmouth: £19,165 – 6.6% change from 2013
United Kingdom: £22,044 – 0.9% change from 2013; England: £22,343 – 0.8 % change from 2013
The Place of Resident earning are:
Cornwall: £18,354 – 0.4% change from 2013
- Camborne and Redruth: £18,018 - minus 0.6 change from 2013
- North Cornwall: £20,003 – 13.9% change from 2013
- South East Cornwall: £20,812 – 7.4 change from 2013
- St Austell and Newquay: £17,386 – minus 6.8% change from 2013
- St Ives: £16,663 – 1.2% change from 2013
- Truro and Falmouth: £20,163 – 4.5% change from 2013
United Kingdom: £22,044 – 0.9% change from 2013; England£22,343 – 0.8 change from 2013
It is no surprise the further West you go in Cornwall there is not a great deal of difference between the work place earnings and the place of resident earnings. However, In the East, there is a difference because people have the opportunity of working out of Cornwall like in Devon. Though, the wages in the East are clearly the lowest in the whole of Cornwall if you take the work place earnings in isolation.
Because of the scale of the difference between the national average and Cornwall, there will have to be a fundamental change on how people are paid in Cornwall. The Living Wage is one solution, but this could place pressure on small businesses who might take on less staff to off-set the extra costs of the Living Wage. Or prices of goods and services will have to increase to cover the costs of the Living Wage. Sadly, there is no simple solution, but one must still be found.
*Source: Office for National Statistics, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 2014 Provisional Results, 19 November 2014 [All figures are gross and give the median figure not the mean as the former is deemed to more accurately represent the average earnings in an area]. Thanks also to the Community Intelligence Team at Cornwall Council