FLOURISHING Hartlepool businesses are giving their staff some of the best pay levels in the region.
A new study shows the town ranked fifth best in the North-East for the average annual pay earned by town workers.
The rate was £23,300 per year which ranked only behind Stockton in top spot with £25,200, Northumberland with £24,700, County Durham with £24,600 and Newcastle with £24,200.
Bottom of the study of 12 authorities was Middlesbrough with £19,600.
Hartlepool’s pay rate was only £100 below the national average. The study also showed average pay across the North East rose 2.1 per cent – faster than across the UK as a whole, where pay has increased 1.6 per cent. However, at an average of £23,400, annual pay in the North East is still nearly £4,000 lower than the UK average of £27,200.
Hartlepool Business Forum co-ordinator, Andrew Steel, said: “It is always positive and if you pay well, you get highly skilled people.
“It is encouraging to see that employers are paying what is a good national average which will encourage people to move into the town.”
Mr Steel said it was also a positive sign that the town was emerging well from the recession, and it was the private sector for leading the way in the recovery.”
While the overall trend is that pay is rising, there is a marked contrast between the fortunes of workers in some of the North East’s key sectors.
Manufacturing jobs account for 11 per cent of the region’s workforce and workers in this sector enjoyed a sharp pay rise of 5.4 per cent last year. Manufacturing workers earn an average of £29,900, making them some of the best paid employees in the region.
Strong pay growth in the manufacturing sector, and the fall in health and social work pay, are contributing to an increasing pay gap between the region’s men and women. Average annual pay for men in full-time work rose 2.8 per cent to £30,800, while women saw their pay rise 1.4 per cent, to £25,000.
The study was carried out by the ManpowerGroup whose operations director Jason Greaves said: “There are many reasons for workers in the North-East to feel optimistic about their pay as it is heading in the right direction, and we hope that this will help drive the economic recovery in the North-East.”
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