From Second Reading, the House of Commons Library blog, written by Feargal McGuinness:

New earnings data published [on November 19] by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show differences in pay across parliamentary constituencies, as illustrated in the map below. Median weekly pay of full-time employees was highest for people living in London (at £618 per week in April 2014) and lowest in Northern Ireland (£457 per week).

The map shows earnings levels for full-time employees living in each constituency. (The median is the point at which half of employees earn more, and half earn less. Northern Ireland constituency results are yet to be published.)

141120constituency-earnings

Earnings by region – changes since 2013

In the South West, median full-time employee pay increased by 2.2% between April 2013 and April 2014, the largest increase of any UK country or region. Median pay was up 2.0% in Scotland and 1.7% in the South East.

However, in Northern Ireland median earnings of full-time employees decreased by 1.6%. Median pay also fell slightly in the East of England (down 0.8%) and the West Midlands (down 0.5%).

141120change-in-earnings-by-region1

Analysing changes at a constituency level is more difficult. These data are survey based and constituency estimates are based on relatively small numbers of respondents – thus it is hard to discern between actual changes and what is just statistical ‘noise’ (see this previous post for further information).

These median figures are affected by new entrants to employment as well as people leaving jobs. For example, if lots of people enter employment and take relatively low-paid jobs, then that will lower the median; similarly if lots of relatively high-paid workers leave employment then that will also push down the median. Such effects are not negligible. ONS estimate that for full-time employees who had been in continuous employment for at least one year, median pay increased by 4.1% between 2013 and 2014, compared to a 0.1% increase for all employees.

Montgomeryshire currently has a Conservative MP yet its people earn less than £450 per week. Brecon and Radnorshire (home of Yr Obdt Srvt) has a Liberal Democrat and similarly earns less than £450 per week. North Shropshire has been cursed with Tory Owen Paterson as its MP since 1997 yet average earnings are only £450-500 per week… Shouldn’t Tory constituencies be richer? Surely the supporters should get some benefit from it, but the relationship between a constituency’s earnings and its MP doesn’t seem to add up at the moment.

Look up your own constituency and see if you’ve been short-changed by your MP.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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