Wages for coastal workers £1,600 less than average
BBC News has published findings revealing that workers living in the coastal communities of Great Britain earn around £1,600 less per year on average than those living further inland.
The figures show that two-thirds of seaside areas had seen a real terms fall in wages since the year 2010, with The All Parliamentary Group for Coastal Communities saying that seaside towns were “being left behind” in response.
Labour MP for Hartlepool, Mike Hill, who chairs the Group, said that coastal communities feel “forgotten” and have done “for a long time”.
Hill said: “Many of these areas have lost industries like shipbuilding that once provided thousands of well paid jobs.
"There's research that shows that without major changes, by 2030 places like my own constituency of Hartlepool could see lots of young people leave coastal areas, which underlines why we need the right investment to protect the long term future of our coastal towns.”
There has been a long running issue with low wages in coastal areas due to the high proportion of individuals working in seasonal jobs, the majority of which are menial and low paid.
Furthermore, a report published back in April for The House of Lords Select Committee for Regenerating Seaside Towns deemed that the local economies of coastal communities were over-reliant on tourism.
The BBC’s analysis into the matter explored official figures on income data from the Office for National Statistics, taken from 632 parliamentary constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales, which show that some of the most deprived communities in England are based on the coast.
The BBC concluded from the data that in coastal constituencies, the typical median worker in 2018 earned £1,681 less than the typical worker in a non-coastal zone.
With inflation factored in, annual wages fell in two-thirds of seaside constituencies between 2010 and 2018. The Wirral West and Weston-Super-Mare constituencies both saw their real terms wages down by a sizeable 25 per cent since 2010.
As part of its party conference last month, the Labour Party pledged to help tackle the issues facing seaside towns by building 37 offshore wind farms to generate 60,000 well-paid jobs in coastal communities.
In its response, the government has invested £200 million into a Coastal Communities Fund since 2012, an initiative which Jake Berry, the minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, believes is having a positive impact on seaside residents.
Berry said: “For years government has only talked about creating growth in our cities. But we are investing in coastal areas and we've given councils across the country a real terms increase in their budgets for next year.”