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Data on average hourly, weekly and annual earnings in the UK down to local authority level for 2021.

The survey provides information about the levels, distribution and make-up of earnings and hours worked for employees in all industries and occupations.

Impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Statistics in this bulletin relate to the pay period that includes 21 April 2021, at which time approximately 3.7 million employees were on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) across the UK, with 139,600 in Wales. At the time of the estimates for 2020 8.8 million employees were furloughed across the UK.

The estimates in this bulletin include furloughed employees and are based on actual payments made to the employee from company payrolls and the hours on which this pay was calculated which in the case of furloughed employees are their usual hours.

The pandemic has resulted in a number of complexities that makes interpreting earnings data difficult. The Office for National Statistics have published a blog explaining this. As a result, comparisons with 2020 should be treated with caution.

Main points

Full-time weekly earnings

Median gross weekly earnings for full-time adults working in Wales were £562.8 in April 2021. This was 92.2% of the average for the UK (£610.7). Median gross weekly earnings in Wales were the third lowest amongst the 12 UK countries and English regions.

Median gross weekly earnings for full-time adults working in Wales increased by 3.9% between 2020 and 2021, compared to a 1.3% increase between 2019 and 2020.

The UK increased by 4.3% over the year. Wales had the seventh highest percentage change amongst the 12 UK countries and English regions.

Gender pay gap

Estimates for 2020 and 2021 are subject to more uncertainty than usual as a result of the challenges faced in collecting the data under government-imposed public health restrictions in 2020 and falling response rates since the start of the pandemic.

The gender pay gap on a median hourly full-time basis (excluding overtime) in April 2021 was 5.0% in Wales and 7.9% in the UK. In Wales the gap was unchanged and in the UK it has widened by 0.9 percentage points compared to the previous year.

For part time employees women usually earn more than men, resulting in a negative pay gap. However, the gender pay gap on a median hourly part-time basis (excluding overtime) in April 2021 stood at 0.0% in Wales, narrowing by 0.8 percentage points compared to the previous year. The gap stood at -2.7% in the UK, also narrowing by 0.8 percentage points. The part time pay gap at geographies below the UK level can be volatile.

Residence based earnings

Median full-time weekly earnings for those living in Wales increased by 4.2% (to £570.6) over the year. The level in 2021 was 93.4% of the UK average.

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Dewi Rees

Telephone: 0300 025 9010

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