CORNWALL UNEMPLOYMENT NOSEDIVES BUT LOW PAY PERSISTS

6 August 2007

The Cornwall Labour Party blog draws attention to welcome progress in falls in unemployment here in Cornwall.

Since Labour came to power unemployment has fallen by about 9 400 in Cornwall. See here for the detailed data for each of the five Cornwall constituencies; it also explains how unemployment is measured.

The fall in the numbers of unemployed people in Cornwall constituencies is about two thirds overall. In the same period the fall in UK unemployment was 45 percent, significantly smaller than in Cornwall. The Cornwall constituencies are among the top tenth of most improved UK constituencies ranked by these percentages; we have made serious progress.

This good news seems to have been unrecorded so far by the Liberal Democrat and nationalist websites in Cornwall.

However, the Liberal Democrats here have acknowledged in Matthew Taylor’s words: “The fact is that the Cornish economy has started to turn round” since the dismissal of the Conservative government, though they claim credit for their Libdem efforts.

Of course, pay for workers in Cornwall remains problematically and stubbornly low and this is affecting negatively the lives and opportunities of many people. Progress is unacceptably slow.

Low pay also affects the funding of the NHS here and will be a factor in any move to reduce benefit levels, national pay scales, and the minimum wage in Cornwall. See this post and this on the blog.

In 2006 the median average gross pay for all fulltime, adult employees in Cornwall was £357.5 a week. This was 79 percent of the England figure of £453.3, a very modest improvement since 1997. Mean average pay is higher and so is median and mean average pay for males everywhere.

Again, even in the averages there is variety within Cornwall. The median pay (in 2006) for Penwith workplaces works out at about £2000 a year less than in Carrick.

See here for the ASHE income details.

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