1. ITV Report

Leeds and Sheffield worst hit by recession

Leeds and Sheffield have been worst hit by the recession Photo: Press Association

Leeds and Sheffield have been worst hit by the recession according to the GMB union due to a drop in the value of average earnings.

The real value of average earnings of all employees resident in Yorkshire & The Humber has dropped by 13.3% between April 2008 and November 2012 a new GMB study of official earnings data shows. For employees resident in Leeds the drop has been 19.2% and 18.8% for those living in Sheffield the two areas in the region worst affected by the recession.

In April 2008 the mean gross annual earnings for all employees resident in the region according to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) was £23,227. The ASHE figure for the mean gross annual earnings for all employees resident in the region for April 2012 was £23,558. This is an increase of £331 or 1.4%. Between April 2008 and November 2012 inflation has been 14.8%. This means the drop in real value of average earnings in Yorkshire and The Humber between April 2008 and November 2012 has been 13.3%.

The drop in gross average earnings for all employees resident in Wakefield was minus 17.7%, followed by Doncaster-15.1%, Calderdale;-14.4%, Kirklees;-13.8%, Kingston upon Hull;-12.6%, Rotherham;-11.8%, East Riding of Yorkshire;-11.2%, Bradford;-11.1%, North Lincolnshire;-8.5%, Barnsley;-8.1%, York;-8.0%, North Yorkshire;-6.7% and North East Lincolnshire down by -3.7%. The figures for all 15 areas in the region are set out in the table below.

For the UK as a whole the drop in the real value of average earnings of all employees between April 2008 and November 2012 has been 12.8%.

These figures showing a drop of 13.3 % in the real value of earnings in the region explain why we are on our way to a triple dip recession.

Consumer spending is the single biggest component of demand in the economy and with the real value of wages from employment falling there is no mystery as to why the economy is in a downward spiral. The replacing of full time permanent jobs with part time and temporary lower paid jobs is part of this.

In both the public and private sectors GMB is organising active local campaigns in support of a living wage of £7.45 an hour (£8.30 in London). In addition, GMB is seeking negotiated settlements in the forthcoming pay round. If such settlements are not on offer GMB has already said that ballots for strike action will be inevitable.

A living wage and pay rises to help hard pressed families as bills go through the roof are needed to boost the economy and stop the downward spiral.

– Tim Roache, GMB Regional Secretary